RapidArc by Varian – Personalized Radiotherapy for Cancer


At HCG, we believe technology and innovation play a critical role in revolutionizing cancer treatment and improving patient outcomes. Unique Performance Linear Accelerator, popularly known as RapidArc Linear Accelerator by Varian is one such technology that we use to deliver personalized radiation treatment for a broad spectrum of cancers.

This platform is known for its ability to precisely target tumors through the technique of intensity-modulated radiation therapy.

Here, we are outlining the key information about RapidArc, including how it works, its advantages, things to expect during RapidArc radiation therapy, and the possible side effects associated with RapidArc radiotherapy treatment.

What is RapidArc?

RapidArc is a form of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and it facilitates the delivery of radiation treatment for cancer with enhanced precision.

Its precision not only translates to more effective treatment but also reduced damage to the healthy tissues close to the tumor.

The RapidArc radiotherapy platform uses dynamic MLC, variable dose rare, and variable gantry speed to make IMRT-quality dose distribution possible in a single optimized arc around the patient.

With RapidArc, patients can receive the most effective radiotherapy treatment with fewer complications.

Types of RapidArc

The radiotherapy technique of RapidArc is broadly classified into three types based on the complexity of the treatment.

Types of Cancer that Can be Treated with RapidArc

Before recommending radiotherapy with RapidArc as a treatment approach for patients, radiation oncologists consider numerous factors, such as the type of cancer, its stage, its exact location, tumor size and shape, the patient’s age, the overall health of the patient, and the patient's preference.

The following are the different types of cancer that can be treated with RapidArc:

How Does RapidArc Work?

RapidArc is a linear accelerator by Varian, and it is designed to deliver a targeted dose of radiation to malignant tumors from multiple angles.

During RapidArc radiotherapy, the tumor is targeted through intensity-modulated radiation therapy, which involves the shaping of the radiation beams to conform closely to the 3-dimensional shape of the tumor inside the body.

Multileaf collimators (MLCs) are computer-controlled, beam-limiting devices that adjust the radiation beam’s shape and intensity as the linear accelerator rotates around the patient. This helps deliver higher doses to the tumor site while reducing radiation exposure to healthy tissues.

What are the Potential Advantages of Radiotherapy with RapidArc?

RapidArc radiation therapy benefits patients in numerous ways:

What are the Side Effects of Radiation Therapy with RapidArc?

Since this platform reduces damage to healthy tissues surrounding the tumor, patients experience fewer side effects. However, radiation treatment with RapidArc is associated with a few side effects, and they are specific to the organ that is being treated.

It is important to note that radiation oncologists and technologists ensure that the benefit of this treatment outweighs its disadvantages or side effects before recommending RapidArc treatment.

The following are the commonly observed side effects of radiation therapy with RapidArc:

Why Should You Undergo RapidArc Radiotherapy at HCG?

HCG Cancer Centre is a leading cancer treatment hospital for radiation oncology in India. Through the adoption of modern technologies and state-of-the-art treatment approaches, our cancer specialists aim to deliver the highest quality radiation oncology services to our patients.

Our radiation oncologists have received extensive training in the planning and administration of radiation treatment with RapidArc.

At HCG, one of the best radiation oncology hospitals in India, starting from preparing the patient for their RapidArc radiotherapy to guiding them after their treatment, the expert team will be there to support the patient at every step of the way.


Radiation therapy with RapidArc presents cancer patients with numerous advantages. This radiotherapy platform facilitates intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for the cancers of the brain, head and neck, lung, and prostate, along with gynecological cancers.

Through precise radiation delivery, RapidArc improves the effectiveness of radiation oncology treatment while controlling tissue damage. Overall, RapidArc improves the quality of treatment results as it ensures the comfort and well-being of patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

RapidArc is used to treat various types of cancer. Before recommending this radiation oncology treatment, various factors, such as the type of cancer, its stage, your age, and your overall health condition, are taken into consideration.

Your treating doctor is the right person to evaluate if it is the best treatment option for you.

The treatment with RapidArc takes about two minutes; however, the set-up and positioning may take some time. The entire process may take up to 20 minutes.

Although RapidArc reduces tissue damage and thereby minimizes side effects, patients may still experience certain side effects. In most cases, these side effects are temporary and go away a few weeks after the treatment.

The number of sessions or fractions that you need for your condition will be decided by your expert team based on your cancer type, its stage, and other individual case parameters.

This treatment is non-invasive, and hence, you should not experience any pain during your treatment. In some cases, however, there may be temporary discomfort, which wears off after the treatment. .

RapidArc is an advanced form of IMRT. During IMRT, the radiation beams of varying doses and intensities are delivered through multiple static treatment fields.

During RapidArc treatment, the radiation beams are delivered in one single rotation through a rotating gantry, which helps in reducing the treatment duration significantly.

RapidArc also helps patients have a better quality of life due to its ability to target tumors more accurately and reduce tissue damage.

RapidArc is a type of VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy), and it delivers radiation doses that are precisely sculpted to the 3D image of the tumor. RapidArc delivers radiation in a single 360-degree rotation.

VMAT is, in turn, a type of intensity-modulated radiation therapy, wherein radiation beams of varying doses and intensities are delivered as the machine moves around the patient.

RapidArc benefits patients in numerous ways, as compared to conventional radiation therapy. The radiation delivery with RapidArc is relatively faster than that with conventional radiotherapy.

Conventional therapy uses fixed beams from one or multiple angles. RapidArc, on the other hand, has more flexibility in terms of beam delivery. This makes the treatment with RapidArc relatively more precise than conventional treatment.

Due to its ability to deliver precise radiotherapy in a shorter duration, RapidArc also positively impacts patient comfort, which may not always be the case with conventional radiotherapy.


A study on conventional IMRT and RapidArc treatment planning techniques for head and neck cancers: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1507136712000247