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RapidArc™ radiotherapy in action.

RapidArc™ radiotherapy technology is a new approach to image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IGRT/IMRT) that delivers precise treatments in shorter times than conventional IMRT.


RapidArc rotates 360 degrees around the patient, enabling the very small beams with varying intensity to be aimed at the tumor from multiple angles. Unlike helical IMRT treatments or other forms of radiation therapy, with RapidArc the radiation treatment being delivered to the patient can be modulated continuously throughout treatment. This means that higher doses of radiation are delivered to hit the tumor harder, and less radiation is delivered to surrounding healthy tissue.


Photons (X-rays) are used to deliver RapidArc. The radiation is generated by a machine called a medical linear accelerator. This machine stands approximately nine feet tall, is nearly 15 feet long and can be rotated around the patient with amazing precision. Operationally, microwave energy, similar to that used in satellite television transmission, is used to accelerate electrons to nearly the speed of light. As they reach maximum speed they collide with a tungsten target, which in turn releases photons, or X-rays.


Very small beams with varying intensities can be aimed at a tumor from multiple angles to attack the target in a complete three-dimensional manner. In fact, RapidArc can be delivered with beams the size of 2.5 x 5-millimeter pixels-the size of a pencil tip-each with varying intensity. The idea is to deliver the lowest dose possible to the surrounding healthy tissue, while still delivering the maximum dose to the tumor.


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De RapidArc-techniek is een geavanceerde vorm van IMRT, intensiteitsgemoduleerde radiotherapie, uitwendige radiotherapie waarbij de straling zich zoveel mogelijk op de tumor richt en dus minder op de omringende gezonde weefsels. Zo kan een hoge stralingsdosis aan de tumor worden toegediend terwijl er minder nevenwerkingen ontstaan door bestraling van omliggende organen. De RapidArc-techniek werkt op basis van drie variabelen: de snelheid waarmee de apparatuur rondom de patiënt draait, de afmetingen van de opening waar de straling doorheen gaat, en de sterkte van de stralingsdosis.

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Taken on April 17, 2012