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Select patients at the Martha Jefferson Cancer Center may benefit from RapidArc® radiotherapy—also known as SmartArc, volume-modulated arc therapy (VMAT), or intensity-modulated arc therapy (IMAT). RapidArc is an advanced treatment technology that matches or improves dose precision while significantly shortening treatment times—two to eight times faster than intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).
RapidArc works by delivering a precisely designed three-dimensional dose distribution using one or more dynamic arc rotations of the linear accelerator. RapidArc differs from other techniques because it efficiently delivers the dose continuously throughout the motion of the arc. Clinicians can now more quickly deliver a continuously-modulated dose to the entire tumor volume while still sparing normal, healthy tissue.
After the patient has been properly placed in the treatment position, RapidArc can be used to deliver the treatment in two to five minutes rather than the seven to twenty minutes required by an IMRT plan. Shorter treatment times not only increase patient satisfaction, but may also reduce the chances of patients moving and needing to be repositioned during the treatment. Your doctor, along with the treatment planning team, will help you to decide whether IMRT treatments or RapidArc-style treatments are appropriate for your specific case.