MANCHESTER, England, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Featuring a revolutionary combination of speed and accuracy, Elekta's new Versa HD™ system will help clinicians at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust (Withington, Manchester) maximize the precision of therapeutic beams on the tumor target, while also accelerating radiation delivery to new levels. Christie clinicians – who expect Versa HD to benefit a wide spectrum of patients suffering from head-and-neck, prostate and lung cancers – predict the system will be ready to begin treating patients by late spring. Unveiled by Elekta on March 1, Versa HD is designed to be the most sophisticated, high-versatility treatment system. The system offers clinicians the flexibility to deliver conventional therapies to treat a wide range of small and large tumors throughout the body, while also enabling treatment of highly complex cancers that require extreme targeting precision. Treatment of the most challenging cases is addressed by ultra-conformal beam shaping working in concert with an innovative High Dose Rate mode – a potent combination that delivers both high precision and high treatment speeds. "Other linear accelerators have high dose rates, but only Versa HD combines High Dose Rate mode with a multileaf collimator [Agility™] that offers the industry's highest leaf speeds," says Carl Rowbottom, Ph.D., head of radiotherapy physics at The Christie. "With high leaf speeds we will be able to modulate the field shape fast enough to achieve the required dose distribution, while also treating at the fastest delivery speed." With highly conformal, rapid beam shaping and the High Dose Rate mode of Versa HD, Dr. Rowbottom predicts significant increases in treatment speeds, improving the patient experience. "Right now our VMAT technique for head-and-neck [squamous cell carcinoma] cases requires two arcs of about 90 seconds each," he says. "With the high leaf speed and increased dose rate, we should be able to treat using just one arc of about 60 seconds."