VMAT is the latest arc therapy technique which delivers more tightly focused treatment to tumours in a significantly shorter time. Using VMAT, single or multiple radiation beams sweep in uninterrupted arc(s) around the patient. VMAT technique provides the oncologists with greater freedom of choice on how an optimum dose can be delivered to cancer cells.
How VMAT works
Using VMAT, radiation is precise targeted at the intended area allowing oncologists to preserve more of the surrounding healthy normal tissue. VMAT treatment which consists of one or several arcs, enables the radiation to remain on while the linear accelerator movements occur. During VMAT treatment, the shape and intensity of the radiation beams changes as the machine rotates. The radiation beam comes from an infinite number of angles, thereby reducing the dose to the surrounding tissue while increasing the dose to the cancer cells.
As such, with VMAT treatment, the duration of the procedure is shortened and the patient spends less time on the treatment table. The simplest treatment can be completed as fast as 2 minutes while more complex cases may take up to only 5 minutes.
What equipment is used?
A medical linear accelerator is used in delivering VMAT. The machine is about the size of a small car approximately 10 feet in height and 15 feet in length.
Types of Cancers which can be treated with VMAT
Most cancer types can benefit from VMAT treatment. Every case is unique but VMAT treatment is typically used for cancers of the :
- Head and lung