Rapidarc Radiotherapy

Over the last three years, Indiana University Health Cancer Centers Bloomington has steadily grown in sophistication, enhancing the quality of care it provides to those with cancer in our community.

This journey began in June 2005 with the installation of our first iX Linear Accelerator in the IU Health Cancer Radiation Centers in south Central Indiana, making us one of the first hospitals in Indiana to offer this new technology to cancer patients.

RapidArc™ provides patients with:

Faster treatment times

Patients spend less time on the treatment table and in the IU Health Cancer Radiation Centers, and more time at home with their loved ones. Increased treatment accuracy We can target the tumor with more precision delivering more radiation directly to the cancerous cells, which can help destroy the cancer more quickly.

Better protection of healthy tissue

Because RapidArc™ is able to so precisely shape the radiation beam to the tumor, the healthy tissues surrounding the cancer receive less radiation, which can lead to fewer side effects following treatment. This is especially important when treating cancers of the head, neck and prostate.

State-of-the-art cancer care in south central Indiana

IU Health Cancer Centers Bloomington is not only the only cancer program in Indiana to offer RapidArc™ technology, it’s one of the first in the world. You have access to high quality, compassionate, state-of-the-art cancer care here in south central Indiana.

“Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) were the two state-of-the-art features the new iX Linear Accelerators brought us,” explains Kevin Rush, MHA, RT, (R)(T), director of the IU Health Cancer Radiation Centers. “IMRT allows the radiation beam to fit the three-dimensional shape of the tumor by modulating, or controlling, the strength of the radiation, while IGRT allows us to take images of the tumor in the treatment position and track the tumor in real-time.”

Continuing this tradition of excellence, IU Health Cancer Centers Bloomington embarked on the next leg of its journey with the installation of RapidArc™ radiotherapy. The installation is complete, and IU Health Cancers Centers Bloomington became one of a handful of centers in the world to offer this new, innovative treatment technology. The IU Health Cancer Radiation Center in Bloomington began treating prostate patients in December of 2008.

RapidArc™, a volumetric intensity modulated arc therapy, combines the benefits of our current IGRT and IMRT technologies. Image guidance is performed just prior to treatment by acquiring a Cone Beam CT and aligning the three-dimensional target to the correct position. The radiation treatment is then delivered in just one 360 degree rotation of the treatment machine, which reduces the amount of time the patient must remain on the table.

“With the installation of RapidArc™, we are the only facility in south central Indiana capable of full, three-dimensional pre-treatment soft tissue image matching followed by intensity modulated arc therapy and the only cancer center in Indiana to have RapidArc™. This means we can deliver even more precise and tailored radiation to the tumor,” says Jeff Mumper, M.S., DABR, radiological physicist at the IU Health Cancer Radiation Center. “And, we will be able to provide this treatment in less than half the time of current treatments.”

RapidArc™ will help us accomplish three main objectives – reduce patients’ treatment time, increase the dose of radiation delivered to the tumor area, and reduce the secondary dose.

“RapidArc™ is as revolutionary to the field of radiation therapy as the multislice CT scanner was to medical imaging,” Mumper says. “This new technology will benefit all of our patients, but will be especially beneficial for those with cancers of the head, neck or prostate. Each of these areas is surrounded by sensitive healthy tissue, and with the increased accuracy RapidArc™ provides, we will be able to better prevent radiation from reaching this healthy tissue, while at the same time having our patients spend less time on the treatment table.”