VOLUMETRIC MODULATED ARC THERAPY (VMAT)
Our Centre was one of the first facilities in Germany – and this includes university hospitals as well – to introduce Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), which we did in December 2009. This is a further development of the IMRT. The treatment is performed as a rotation treatment: during irradiation, the linear accelerator rotates around the patient, while simultaneously numerous additional technical variables are continuously adjusted, e.g. the rotation speed, the field size and form, and the dose rate. The precision of the VMAT dose distribution is comparable with that of the IMRT – but the treatment time per fraction is significantly shortened. This makes the VMAT a particularly sensible treatment technique for complex problems. The time that a patient spends wearing a mask for the irradiation of a tumour in the head-neck area is approx. 15-20 minutes for an IMRT irradiation; in contrast this takes less than 2 minutes with VMAT irradiation. We currently treat approx. 25 % of our patients with VMAT.
On February 3, 2011, our Centre was the first European-wide facility to be credited by the medical technology company ELEKTA as “European Reference Centre” for the quick implementation of the special radiation therapy and its application by 750 patients to date.
Matuszak MM et al: Clinical applications of Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 77:608-616, 2010.