News | Published September 25, 2009

Medical Center Adds New Online Technology to State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment

Mount Nittany Medical Center recently improved its cancer treatment technology, providing the latest advancement in the field of radiation therapy, the new RapidArc software from Varian Medical Systems.
The RapidArc treatment is faster than conventional forms of radiotherapy. This precision can make an important difference in the patient’s outcome and experience. It gives an alternative in the delivery of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which allows the medical director, Jerry Derdel, MD, to more effectively target tumors while protecting healthy tissue. This IMRT treatment is delivered significantly faster than conventional therapies, which require a treatment time of 20 minutes or longer. While IMRT already significantly decreased a patient’s time for radiation therapy, this new software will further decrease treatment time by as much as 50 to 75 percent.
RapidArc technology allows the physician and physics team at Mount Nittany Medical Center to program their linear accelerator and deliver exact forms of radiation up to eight times faster than other systems by delivering the complete treatment in fewer rotations. As a result, the tumor receives the full dose of radiation in less than two minutes and the patient spends less time on the table for radiation therapy.
Speed in treatment is important because it reduces the time the patient must lie still. As treatment time is reduced, there is potential for the RapidArc to improve both quality of care and comfort for the patient.
Derdel and his team at Mount Nittany Medical Center offer the most highly sophisticated methods of radiation therapy available in the area, equal to that found in major medical center and academic settings. For more information on the new treatment technology, contact the radiation oncology department at Mount Nittany Medical Center at 814.234.6726 or visit