SALZBURG, Austria, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Requiring only a quick upgrade to their existing Elekta Synergy® linear accelerator, physicians at SALK and Paracelsus Medical University began using the new Agility* 160-leaf multileaf collimator (MLC), treating 33 patients on its first day. In its first month of Agility use, the center now treats 50 patients per day, comprising about 700 individual treatment sessions that have benefited from this breakthrough in cancer care.
Based on their experience, clinicians at the Salzburg clinic report that the Agility MLC's new design provides them with more precise dose sculpting capabilities and remarkably lower non-therapeutic radiation dose delivered to the patient.
"Looking closely at several prostate cancer cases, we've calculated a measurable improvement in dose shaping precision with Agility's high-resolution, five millimeter leaves," says Felix Sedlmayer, M.D., Professor and Chairman, Department of Radiotherapy and Radio-Oncology, SALK and Paracelsus Medical University. "This greater precision improves our ability to focus radiation to the tumor, while strictly limiting exposure to surrounding critical structures such as the rectum and bladder."
"We were astonished at the amount of healthy tissue dose reduction we could achieve," he adds. "This capacity theoretically enables us to improve outcomes and reduce the potential for complications."
Peter Kopp, Ph.D., Deputy Head of Medical Physics, adds that the center's treatment planning system reports significantly less dose in organs-at-risk for head-and-neck IMRT cases, which they have been recalculating for the Agility-equipped Synergy system.
Harnessing Agility's unique ability to deliver high-resolution beam-shaping over a large 40cm x 40cm field, the medical center has used this new technology to treat virtually all indications, including stereotactic (SBRT/SRT) lung cases and other advanced IMRT therapies.
World's first field upgrade to Agility takes only two weeks
While the clinical performance of Agility is now foremost in the minds of the Salzburg physicians and physicists, the speed of the Agility upgrade made an impression.
"Our main interest was in limiting downtime, since we are operating only three linacs and could hardly compensate for one linac being down for a long period of time," Dr. Kopp says. "Two weeks seemed extremely ambitious to accomplish a complete swap out of the MLC heads and to perform the measurements. But we all worked together the Elekta personnel, our local service engineer, Georg Schrocker, in addition to the medical center physics staff and IT engineers to make it a success."
Agility recently was released for sale, enabling medical centers across Europe and other regions to adopt the technology for their patients with cancer.
Agility MLC is offered in new systems or as an upgrade to existing treatment systems. For more information, visit www.elekta.com/agility.
*Agility is not licensed for sale in all markets. Approval of indications may vary between different countries. Additional regulatory clearances may be required in some markets.
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Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy, radiosurgery and brachytherapy, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care. Stretching the boundaries of science and technology, providing intelligent and resource-efficient solutions that offer confidence to both healthcare providers and patients, Elekta aims to improve, prolong and even save patient lives.
Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 6,000 hospitals worldwide. Elekta employs around 3,300 employees globally. The corporate headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb. Website: www.elekta.com.