One of the leading cancer centers in the Middle East has become among the first in the region to introduce fast and efficient RapidArc® radiotherapy treatments from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) . Al Amal Hospital in Doha, Qatar, has treated nine brain cancer, prostate cancer and head & neck cancer patients with RapidArc since commencing treatments in early May, and it now plans to roll out the technology for many more indications. "Faster treatments that adapt radiation dose to the tumor are always desirable in radiotherapy and we are very proud to join other prominent oncology centers worldwide in offering this technology," says Dr. Noora Al Hammadi, director of Al Amal Hospital's radiation oncology program.
"State-of-the-art capabilities such as RapidArc offer our patients a fast and efficient way of receiving more advanced radiotherapy treatments. Since we introduced RapidArc on our two Varian linear accelerators, we have widened the indications that we treat with the technique and we expect this trend to continue as it becomes more and more a part of our center's routine treatment approach. We are very pleased about the potential of this technology."
This achievement was recognized at a grand opening ceremony at the hospital on Saturday, attended by members of the Qatari Royal Family and government. During the ceremony, Al Amal Hospital signed an agreement with Varian for the hospital to become a reference center in the gulf region and the Middle East for RapidArc, image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) and other advanced forms of radiotherapy.
"Al Amal Hospital is a great example on the fast implementation of Varian technology, made possible by a dedicated and highly motivated team," says Rolf Staehelin, head of Oncology Systems marketing for Varian in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. "Within a year, the whole oncology department switched to a Varian hardware and software paperless environment, capable of delivering advanced radiotherapy techniques"
Dr. Al Hammadi added, "Varian's equipment and software supports our belief in seamless care. The ability to implement both RapidArc and stereotactic radiosurgery using 3D image guidance allows us to offer greater precision. In addition, the ARIA(TM) oncology information management system has enabled us go entirely paperless and fully integrate to the hospital's imaging systems, meaning better workflow and better overall patient care."
Part of the Hamad Medical Corporation, the government healthcare provider in the State of Qatar, Al Amal Hospital treats patients from across the Gulf region. Its patients represent a complex mix of all types of tumors, including pediatric cases and a large proportion of breast cancer patients. The department aims to become a recognized Centre of Excellence in image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) for the region within two years.
RapidArc technology enables clinicians to deliver a highly-precise image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy treatment in as little as one or two revolutions of the treatment machine around the patient, much faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. Studies show that faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery and, with less time on the treatment couch, also allow for greater patient comfort.