Forrest General Cancer Center First in State to Use HyperArc Radiotherapy Treatment
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (March 11, 2021) The Forrest General Cancer Center is the first in the state to provide Varian HyperArc™ high-definition radiotherapy treatment for patients with brain tumors.
A component of the Center’s Varian Edge Linear Accelerator, which went online in 2020, this new wave in stereotactic radiosurgery provides a level of accuracy, speed and streamline planning.
“With HyperArc, we are simplifying the entire process of planning and delivering high quality, precise and efficient cranial radiosurgery,” said Dr. Jason Stanford, PhD, DABR, chief physicist & RSO-Radiation Oncology. “We use a standard pre-defined set of beam geometry, which improves on treatment time and reduces the possibility for errors because of a more efficient automated process. Patients are constantly monitored during the treatment; however, because there is no manual intervention, therapists don’t have to enter the room which makes for faster treatment, more accuracy, a safer plan and an overall good patient experience.”
One of the challenges physicians faced in the past was the need to bring a patient in once a plan was created to make sure the geometric beams worked, which added an additional visit for the patient. With the automated process, pre-determined beams that are proven, eliminate any uncertainty. That provides a comfort level and assurance, not just for the patient, but for the clinicians as well.
Data for this treatment shows that what was once a 15-minute procedure is now down to 10 to 12 minutes, which is a 20 to 30 percent reduction in treatment time. “To many, that 5 minutes may not be much, but to a patient laying on a table awaiting treatment, that 5 minutes makes a significant difference for them,” Stanford said.
One of the unique situations regarding HyperArc is that when combined with the Varian Edge Linear Accelerator it offers physicians much more efficiency and a more robust treatment. “We find this to be beneficial for patients who have multiple brain lesions,” Stanford said. “Some patients, in the past, would need to be treated two or three times for multiple lesions. With this technology, we can automate the process and treatment of multiple lesions at the same time.” Due to the Varian Edge’s high definition, it’s able to conform and shape to the tumor much better.
Not all patients are candidates for the HyperArc treatment as physicians use selective criteria in choosing the appropriate patients for this type of treatment.
While there are a few programs in the state that have begun working with similar technology, “Forrest General is the leader in implementing this type of process,” said Stanford. “Our administration and physicians had the foresight and were very much onboard to ensure that we have the most up-to-date technology.”
About Forrest General’s Cancer Center
Forrest General Hospital Cancer Center ranks among the largest and most sophisticated cancer treatment centers in South Mississippi. It offers a place where patients can received advanced care in a beautiful, compassionate environment. Forrest General operates the only comprehensive community Cancer Center in the 19-county service area, and is accredited by the College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The center features the services of a multidisciplinary team led by medical oncologists/hematologists and radiation oncologists, who provide high quality medical care in a continuum of settings. In addition to medical and radiation oncologists, a complete range of physician specialists provide expertise in diagnoses, surgical removal, disease management and reconstructive procedures.