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    Medical Radiology News said:
    July 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Beam-Shaping Collimator for Cancer Radiotherapy Accelerates Treatment
    By Medimaging International staff writers
    Posted on 17 Jul 2012


    Utilizing new and faster technology, a new multileaf collimator (MLC) is expected to further improve therapy for oncology patients and speed up treatment times.

    Using a combination of 160 high-resolution tungsten leaves and greatly faster leaf movement, Elekta’s (Stockholm, Sweden) new Agility MLC has the potential to provide a new degree of precision and delivery speed in radiation therapy treatments for cancer patients. Elekta recently received 510(k) clearance (K121328) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Agility, enabling US medical centers to provide these clinical advances to their patients with cancer.

    An MLC, a device comprised of numerous, individual tungsten “leaves,” is utilized to shape beams of therapeutic radiation that are delivered from different angles around the patient. Using twice the number of leaves typical of many standard MLCs, Agility precisely shapes delivered radiation to the unique contours of the tumor, while reducing the risk of exposure to healthy tissue.

    The new Agility MLC also includes ultrafast leaf movements–twice as fast as other MLCs commonly used in the industry–enabling clinicians to further exploit the most advanced cancer therapies such as stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT), and volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT). Further, with a new lower radiation leakage design, research has shown Agility can considerably reduce the patient’s nontherapeutic radiation exposure as compared to other traditional MLCs.

    “Culminating from years of close collaboration with our worldwide clinical partners, we are extremely proud to introduce Agility in the United States,” said Jay Hoey, executive vice president, Elekta North America. “With Agility, not only will treatment times be faster, but more importantly, patients also will benefit from this solution’s enhanced targeting capabilities, which are expected to improve treatment outcomes as well as reduce the risk of potential complications. The promise of these critical patient benefits has generated a great deal of interest in the US radiation oncology community, which we predict will result in rapid adoption of this technology.”

    Soon after Elekta received CE marking for Agility, permitting sales of the device in Europe, clinicians began reporting significant gains in beam-shaping ability and delivery speed. Shorter treatment times have resulted in increased patient comfort and convenience, as well as improved the ability for caregivers to treat more patients each day.

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