St James's University Hospital, a part of The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the UK, has become the world's first hospital to treat tongue cancer by integrating Elekta's Agility multileaf collimator (MLC) and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT).
The combination of the two therapies has minimised the time taken to deliver radiation beams, from five minutes to two minutes.
The MLC device features individual 'tungsten leaves', used to shape beams of radiation as therapeutic doses are delivered from different angles around the patient.
The 160, five-millimetre wide leaves can travel at twice the speed of those in a traditional MLC and conform to the shape of tumours, according to Elekta.
The radiation therapy technique, VMAT, will allow the radiation dose to conform to a tumour by modulating the radiation beam's intensity during gantry rotation.
St James's University Hospital physicist, John Lilley, said that for this particular tongue cancer treatment, the VMAT delivery was three minutes quicker than the regular conformal plan.
"This is very important because the immobilisation mask the patient wears for treatment can be uncomfortable and reduced treatment times means less risk of patient movement," Lilley added.
"Quicker treatment times make a big difference for us as well, as it means we can schedule treatments to more patients per day."
During the treatment procedure, the clinicians at the hospital have also used Elekta's Monaco treatment planning system, which enabled lower parotid and larynx doses than the conventional plans that the Leeds team had been producing.