ODENSE, Denmark, March 18, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Odense University Hospital (OUH, Odense, Denmark), a major multi-specialty medical center serving southern Denmark, joined the global community of Elekta VMAT (http://www.elekta.com/healthcare_international_elekta_vmat.php) clinical sites last fall when it began treating patients with the arc-based technique. With Elekta VMAT, single or multiple radiation beams sweep in uninterrupted arc(s) around the patient, significantly reducing treatment times.

Shorter prostate treatment

OUH physicians used Elekta VMAT for the first time to treat a patient with prostate cancer. Because Elekta VMAT enables the treatment beam to complete non-stop therapy arcs, clinicians were able to perform the one-arc treatment in a 10-minute session, shaving two minutes off the time needed to conduct an advanced IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) treatment.

The time-savings over successive Elekta VMAT cases could help us treat additional patients per day, says Knud Aage Werenberg, head physicist at OUH. We would like to offer VMAT as the standard treatment for selected patient groups before this summer.

The two-minute decrease in treatment time may also reduce the chance that the patient or tumor will move during the treatment session, he adds.

In a study, OUH established Elekta VMAT's speed and quality versus IMRT several months before the Danish medical center initiated its clinical VMAT program.(1) We generated Elekta VMAT plans for 25 patients with head and neck cancer, he says. The results showed that the Elekta VMAT target coverage and sparing of organs-at-risk would be equivalent or superior to the IMRT plan, while reducing beam-on time by 35 percent.

OUH has used the technique to treat an additional 11 patients, with prostate, head and neck and lung cancers.

Presently, OUH delivers Elekta VMAT on one of its four Elekta Synergy(R) (http://www.elekta.com/synergy) treatment systems. The center operates two additional Elekta linear accelerators and two treatment machines from another provider. OUH treats approximately 180 patients daily on these eight systems.

About Elekta

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 and radiosurgery, 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, making the future possible today.

Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 5,000 hospitals globally, and every day more than 100,000 patients receive diagnosis, treatment or follow-up with the help of a solution from the Elekta Group.

Elekta employs around 2,500 employees globally. The corporate headquarter is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb. For more information about Elekta, please visit http://www.elekta.com.

(1) Bertelsen A et al. Single Arc Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy of head and neck cancer. Radiother Oncol (2010), doi:10.1016/j.radonc.2010.01.011

SOURCE: Elekta

CONTACT: Stina Thorman, Vice President Corporate Communications, ElektaAB, Tel: +46-8-587-254-37, email: stina.thorman@elekta.com, Time zone: CET:Central European, or Michelle Lee, Director, Global Public Relations andBrand Management, Elekta, Tel: +1-770-670-2447, email:michelle.lee@elekta.com, Time zone: EST: Eastern Standard. Editors note:Images and streaming video of Elekta VMAT are available in Elektas MediaResources Center(http://www.elekta.com/corporate_international_media_center.php).