When we installed RapidArc, the 56-year-old prostate cancer patient was switched to from conventional IMRT radiotherapy to this more advanced method of treatment. The same dose was delivered to the prostate as with IMRT treatments, but the dose to such surrounding organs as the bladder and rectum was equal to or lower than that with IMRT.
On each day of treatment with RapidArc, there was a 4-minute savings in treatment time –down from 5½ minutes to 1½ minutes each day—and a significant savings in treatment time over the entire course of radiation therapy. Since the prostate typically is in constant motion (studies have shown that the longer the treatment lasts, the more the prostate moves), this faster delivery made a huge difference: the prostate did not have a chance to move out of the target treatment field. Overall patient comfort was also improved with the shorter treatment time.