IMRT Head & Neck Cancer Treatment with TomoHelical

Targeting complex tumors with unmatched precision and homogeneity

TomoHelical Treatment Delivery, Accuray’s flagship helical delivery mode available for the Radixact® and TomoTherapy® Systems, sets the gold standard for complex head and neck cancer treatment.


Expands head and neck cancer treatment like no other system in the world

Image guided, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IG-IMRT), featuring best-in-class clinical workflows and highly conformal and homogenous treatments enabled by a unique ultra-fast multi-leaf collimator (MLC). The Radixact® System shapes radiation to the tumor while sparing normal, healthy tissue. 

Highly conformal dose sculpting over long treatment fields

TomoHelical combines continuous gantry rotation, continuous couch motion, and ultra-fast multi-leaf collimator (MLC). This technology delivers intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) over extended treatment fields. The unique binary MLC —with the fastest leaf speed in the industry— produces more modulation compare to other IMRT delivery techniques. Bortfeld and Webb have demonstrated that TomoHelical delivery offers superior dose sculpting capability compared to other IMRT delivery techniques (static and rotational), enabling highly conformal and homogeneous dose distribution1. The advantages of TomoHelical delivery have also been shown in plan comparisons for many clinical indications, head and neck being the best example3-7.

Simplicity & speed

Outstanding precision & dose fall-off

Demonstrated clinical benefits for head & neck cancers

A prospective, multi-institutional clinical study supported by the French National Cancer Institute (INCa: Institut National du Cancer) demonstrated that patients with head and neck cancer treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) showed a significantly better local control rate, cancer-specific survival rate and post-treatment salivary function when treated with TomoHelical™ compared to RapidArc2.

The study, the first to prospectively compare clinical outcomes across radiation therapy platforms, was part of a voluntary evaluation of IMRT platforms by 14 French centers following a rigorous methodology.  This landmark study demonstrates that the technique used to deliver IMRT can have a major impact on patient outcomes.

Proven Superior Clinical Outcomes With TomoHelical Compared To Rapidarc For Head And Neck Cancer

Proven Results

Listen to Dr. Bibault discuss the clinical study

An ideal clinical solution for routine and complex indications

The Radixact® and TomoTherapy® systems offer TomoHelical delivery, providing the flexibility to treat a spectrum of cancer cases from a single platform.

TomoEDGE Dynamic Jaws

Total scheduled procedure time averages 10-15 minutes* with TomoEDGE dynamic jaws

*Includes set-up, full 3D imaging and average beam-on time of 4.5 minutes. Total procedure times are approximate and based on internal Accuray test data. Times may vary with various clinical situations.

Accuray Radixact Dynamic Jaws
Accuray Fixed Jaws
Accuray Dynamic Jaws
“Based on our experiences, the current policy at our institution is to treat all patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma with helical TomoTherapy.”
Chen A.M. et al. “Intensity-modulated radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma: improvement of the therapeutic ratio with helical tomotherapy vs segmental multileaf collimator-based techniques.” The British Journal of Radiology. 2012; 85: e537-543
“In our clinical practice, acute and late complications after helical TomoTherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma are definitely fewer and milder compared with our conventional IMRT technique.”
Leung S.W. and Lee T.F. “Treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma by TomoTherapy: Five-year experience.” Radiation oncology. 2013; 8: 107

Clinical Examples

Bilateral Head & Neck

  • Treatment mode: TomoHelical IMRT
  • Rx: 56 Gy / 35 Fx + 63 Gy + 70 Gy simultaneous integrated boosts (SIB)
  • Delivery time: 4:31 min:sec

Connect with a IMRT expert.

See additional plan examples and get the answers you need.


1. Bortfeld T and Webb S. “Single-Arc IMRT?” Phys. Med. Biol. 2009; 54: N9-N20 –

2. Bibault J-E, et al. “Clinical outcomes of several IMRT techniques for patients with head of neck cancer: A propensity score weighted analysis.” International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 2017; 99(4): 929-937 –

3. Van Gestel D. et al. “Fast Helical Tomotherapy in a head and neck cancer planning study: is time priceless?” Radiation Oncology. 2015; 10: 261 –

4. Van Gestel D. et al. “RapidArc, SmartArc, and TomoDH compared with classical step and shoot and sliding window intensity modulated radiotherapy in oropharyngeal cancer treatment plan comparison.”  Radiation Oncology. 2013; 8:37 –

5. Vernat S.S. et al. “Intensity Modulated Arc Therapy in Bilaterally Irradiated Head and Neck Cancer: A Comparative and Prospective Multicenter Planning Study.” Cancer Invest. 2014; 32(5): 159-167

6. Chen A.M. et al. “Intensity-modulated radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma: improvement of the therapeutic ratio with helical tomotherapy vs segmental multileaf collimator-based techniques.” The British Journal of Radiology. 2012; 85: e537-543 –

7. Broggi S. et al. “Static and rotational intensity modulated techniques for head-neck cancer radiotherapy: a planning comparison.” Phys Med. 2014; 30(8): 973-979