Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT)

Radiation therapy that moves around the tumour.

What is volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT)

Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is a type of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). The therapy maximises radiation to the tumour, whilst sparing healthy tissue, reducing the risk of side-effects.1

 

How does VMAT work?

VMAT is an advanced form of radiation therapy that works by rotating the linear accelerator (the machine delivering the radiation) around you during treatment, continuously reshaping and changing the intensity of the radiation beam to ensure the maximum dose is delivered to the target areas while minimising exposure of radiation to healthy tissues.1 It automatically changes the beam shape and radiation dose as it moves.

Benefits of VMAT

Treatment sessions with VMAT are usually shorter than conventional radiation therapy – around 10 minutes.2

VMAT can be used when the tumour is close to critical organs, such as with prostate and gastrointestinal cancers. It helps reduce the radiotherapy dose to adjacent healthy organs and thereby reducing the risk of side effects.1

Widefield VMAT is an approach that allows for large or irregular curved surfaces to be treated adequately, such as with patients with widespread skin cancers.3

References

  1. Teoh M, et al. Br J Radiol 2011; 84(1007):967-996.
  2. Iorio GC, et al. Med Oncol 2017; 24;35(1):1.
  3. Willenbrink T, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol 2020; 83(3):709-717.