The Hospital Charity are raising funds to purchase a Rapid Arc licence to expand their treatment to lung, breast and rectum patients and to explore the possibility of using it for some head and neck patients
The field of Radiotherapy is growing at a remarkable pace, with new technology; radiographers can target tumours with more precision and accuracy which leads to less surrounding tissue being unnecessarily harmed. A recent technical advancement is the treatment known as Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which uses beams of radiation to conform to the shape of the tumour.
RapidArc is a form of IMRT where the gantry and field shape is unique, in that it moves continuously around the patient using inverse computer algorithms, resulting in a much shorter treatment time. At Mount Vernon Cancer Centre we want to make this ground-breaking treatment more available across the spectrum of patients suitable for IMRT.

The project would allow us to:

·    Create more bespoke plans for rectum and lung patients resulting in a lower dose of radiation to organs at risk and less treatment related side effects
·    Reduce treatment times for head and neck patients, taking an average 20-minute treatment down to 12-15 minutes
·    Create a less stressful experience for head and neck patients who will have to wear the treatment mask for less time
·    See an improvement in quality of life for lung cancer patients as the overall lung dose will be reduced
·    See an improvement of quality of life for patients treated for rectal cancer as dose to adjoining tissues will be lower
·    Reduce treatment planning times for all patients enabling the treatment planning team to turn around plans in a shorter time
·    Provide the ability to review patients’ plans who have changed weight quickly.