Alabama hospital first in the U.S. to use Varian RapidArc radiotherapy

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham Health will now be the first in the United States to treat cancer patients with RapidArc radiotherapy from Varian Medical Systems.

RapidArc delivers image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT or helical tomotherapy, according to the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company.

“Our first RapidArc patient has early-stage prostate cancer, and chose radiation therapy for his treatments,” said John B. Fiveash, MD, radiation oncologist. “He'll be receiving daily treatments for four weeks, so he was quite pleased to find out that, using RapidArc technology, we would be completing his treatments in under two minutes per day. Delivering IMRT would have taken at least five times longer with earlier technologies.”

The Birmingham, Ala.-based health system is a tertiary healthcare provider, licensed for 908 beds.