Varian releases upgrades to RapidArc

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Varian Medical Systems introduced new functionality to its RapidArc radiotherapy technology at the 50th annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) in Boston last week.

RapidArc now enables non-coplanar, as well as multiple-arc intensity modulated radiation therapy treatments that allow geometric avoidance of some organs at risk while increasing uniformity of tumor dose.

“Using coplanar fields makes it possible for clinicians to create plans that avoid certain parts of the anatomy in ways that wouldn’t be possible when treating with just one arc, in just one plane,” said Corey Zankowski, Varian’s senior director for oncology product management.

“This approach can be useful in treating brain tumors located in the same plane as the eyes. By rotating the couch during treatment to deliver multiple noncoplanar arcs, clinicians can often avoid the eyes to a large extent and achieve better dose distribution to the tumor,” he added.

The new version of RapidArc also supports stereotactic applications by increasing the number of monitor units that can be delivered per beam (or per gantry rotation), the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said.