9.1 - Length Of Treatment

How long does a typical megavoltage treatment take?
What factors influence this?

Typical Treatment Length

The time for a patient to be brought into the bunker, positioned, treated, and escorted out of the bunker varies considerably depending on:

  • The complexity of the treatment plan
  • The use of arc therapy
  • The arrangement of the waiting room, bunker, maze and accelerator (including the presence or absence of a neutron door)
  • Staff training
  • The use of treatment verification imaging (eg. cone beam CT) and any changes that are performed as a result of this

Straightforward treatments, with simple immobilisation and four or less beams, take under 15 minutes. More complex treatments which require treatment verification or have over 4 beams can take a significant length of time. Treatments that use extended SSD techniques may require staff to enter the room and move the patient between the delivery of beams.