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RapidArc to Speed Up Radiation Therapy

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The University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) will be the first cancer treatment center in the United States to offer a new type of radiation therapy to cancer patients.

In the past radiation therapy, although helpful, has been time consuming and offered an opportunity to harm non cancerous tissue while trying to treat cancerous tissues. At UAB they are employing a new technology called RapidArc. The technology is the next-generation of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

IMRT was put into use in the 1990’s and for the first time it allowed the delivery of multiples beams of radiation to a cancerous tumor. RapidArc’s new technology allows for this process to happen up to 8 times faster than before. This will prove to be very beneficial as 20 minute sessions will be able to be administered in sessions of 90 seconds, making it much easier for patients to stay motionless throughout the treatment.