CASABLANCA, Morocco, Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A 60-year-old prostate cancer patient has become the first person in North Africa to be treated using fast and efficient RapidArc® radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). The pioneering treatment took place at Al Kindy Hospital, a leading private cancer clinic in Casablanca. Over 20 further prostate and head/neck cancer treatments have subsequently taken place using the advanced technology.
Doctors at Al Kindy say RapidArc has enabled them to give fast and precise treatments that deliver the prescribed dose to the tumor while limiting exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and organs. "RapidArc is a very effective way of improving the precision of our radiotherapy treatments, particularly for head and neck treatments, which are very common here in Morocco," says Hicham Tamri, medical physicist. "With RapidArc we are able to deliver the prescribed dose precisely while lowering the risk of complications such as dry mouth. For prostate patients, we can better reduce exposure of the bladder, urethra and rectum."
The advanced RapidArc system, which has been introduced clinically on the hospital's Varian Clinac® DHX medical linear accelerator, delivers precise image-guided IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy) up to four times faster than conventional IMRT. The RapidArc IMRT beam quickly delivers the dose while continuously rotating around the patient. Studies* show that faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery.
Mr. Tamri said the hospital had never offered IMRT treatments in the past but the acquisition of new equipment and software from Varian had enabled them to commence image-guided RapidArc treatments. "We will be using RapidArc rather than fixed-beam IMRT for all eligible cases in the future," he said.
Youssef Rihane, Varian's regional sales director, said, "In a country where less than five per cent of cancer patients even receive intensity modulated radiotherapy, we are pleased to help Al Kindy to introduce more advanced RapidArc IMRT treatments for the benefit of patients throughout North Africa. My congratulations to the team at Al Kindy for their pioneering work."
Hicham Tamri added, "Morocco has seen a marked advancement in radiotherapy technologies and the number of radiotherapy practitioners in recent years and we can expect to see the introduction of more and more advanced treatments in the future."
Al Kindy was established as a cancer center in 1989, offering low dose rate brachytherapy treatments. Ten years later, the hospital's first medical linear accelerator was installed and a new Varian Clinac® DHX was acquired in 2010 to boost the center's treatment capabilities. The majority of Al Kindy's patients come from across Morocco and neighboring countries such as Mauritania, Mali and Senegal.
Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 5,700 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com.
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems