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RapidArc Radiation question

Rita3710's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2010

My partner Joe is having his 'simulation' tomorrow for his 7 weeks of radiation. He is having the IMRT radiation. Watching TV last night we came across a newer radiation called 'RapidArc' which claims to deliver radiation quicker with lower doses than IMRT radiation. Does anyone have any information that they could share? I looked on the website and they do have it available at Brigham & Womens Hospital in Boston and he is having his radiation at Cape Cod Hospital, but if it will be better for him, I will go anywhere! I am wondering why that wasn't given as an option when we saw his doc at Dana Farber?

As all caregivers know, you think your asking all the questions and covering all the bases for every option available, but not being in the medical field how do you know all the questions to ask? I just keep researching...

I also want to add that this board has been so helpful! I am so grateful that I have found it...Knowledge is power and reading all the threads and gathering all the information has empowered us.

We did receive good news last Friday, the induction chemo of Taxatere, Cisplatain & 5FU has shrunk the tumor! The 3 lymph nodes are still swollen, so they are going with Taxol and Carboplatnum once a week with the radiation. I asked and they gave him an extra week off in between to recoup before he starts! The induction chemo was brutal, but he is up and trying to put the pounds on before he starts the next phase. I have armed him with benecalorie, ensure, carnation instant, mega protien powder & ISO feeding mix for his feeding tube. He was down to 120's from 160 when he started..but he is eating slippery foods and gaining back as much as possible.
Sorry, going on and on....Please take care everyone, you are all in my thoughts and prayers every day!

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I never heard anything about RapidArc rad yet so please share any info you get on this. I am glad to hear the chemo is working this is a good positive sign that he will respond to treatment well.

All the best to you and Joe

Posts: 365
Joined: Feb 2010

A friend of mine had something similar I believe. I thought it was called tomo though. He told me that it was a machine similar to a CT machine. That was suppose to be more accurate than IMRT. It could get more acute angles etc.
He had metastatic melonoma to the lymph nodes. He went to Loyola University Medical Center here in Chicago. Dont know if this helps or not
Best Wishes & Prayers
Dave U

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8292
Joined: Sep 2009

In reading it looks like RapidARC has been around since at least 2007. It's written as a more precise form of IMRT and at lower doses. I don't really know anything about it other than from Google.

I also had a nine week plan of three week cycles of Cisplatin, Taxotere and 5FU, followed with seven weeks of weekly Carboplatin, daily Amifostine injections and radiation (IMRT).

I had a primary in my tonsils (right) an also a lymph node. After my second three week cycle the tumor was noticeably smaller, and completely dissolved after the third cycle.

I didn't have a PEG, but did and still do have the power port.

I'm now 14 months out of all treatments and just had my annual PET which was clean and the blood labs were also all completely back within normal ranges.

Hoping that Joe has great results as well with a similar treatment plan.


Rita3710's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2010

We asked the radiation oncologist today about Rapid Arc and the advantages it offered treating Head & Neck compared to IMRT. Basically she said it's the newest version of radiation therapy following the IMRT. It is faster than IMRT, treatment time is cut in half daily, but you still have the same amount of days for treatment. But if treatment time is cut in half then wouldn't that mean less side effects? She said that it would be up to us if we wanted to be treated in Boston from Cape Cod. I just want it to give Joe every possible advantage and the fewest side effects. I am like a 'mother bear' with her 'cubs'. It comes with the territory of 'caretaker'. I am going to further research before he has to start radiation.
That is wonderful to read everything you have been through and come out on top! Awesome results! I am praying we and everyone else here has the same...Thanks! Rita

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