Patients with prostate cancer are typically required to lie still for seven to eight minutes with a full bladder during a therapy session, a process repeated 37 times over a treatment course.
St. George’s Cancer Care Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, went a different route, and acquired Elekta technology that enables them to deliver prostate therapy in half the per session time, improving patient comfort. In December, only nine months after opening, St. George’s used Elekta VMAT for the first time to treat a 67-year-old patient with prostate cancer.
“We used a single non-stop arc of the radiation beam and just under three minutes of actual therapy time,” said David McKay, principal physicist at St. George’s, located on New Zealand’s South Island. “He is about three-quarters of the way through his treatment course and is doing very well.”
The arc-based technique was part of a comprehensive acquisition of Elekta technology by St. George’s, which also included two Elekta Synergy® linear accelerators, Monaco® treatment planning for Elekta VMAT, and MOSAIQ® oncology information system. Since its first patient, St. George’s has started its second prostate cancer patient on Elekta VMAT therapy. For both patients, VMAT planned with Monaco has been successful, McKay said.