Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Becomes First in Taiwan to Treat Using RapidArc™ Radiotherapy Technology from Varian Medical Systems | Varian

{ "pageType": "news-article", "title": "Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Becomes First in Taiwan to Treat Using RapidArc™ Radiotherapy Technology from Varian Medical Systems", "articleDate": "February 23, 2009", "introText": "", "category": "Oncology" }

Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Becomes First in Taiwan to Treat Using RapidArc™ Radiotherapy Technology from Varian Medical Systems

50-Year-old Patient with Head & Neck Tumors Receives First Treatment Using Fast and Efficient Arc Therapy System

LINKOU, Taiwan, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Taiwan's largest hospital has begun treatments using a new, faster form of radiotherapy that potentially enables doctors to improve outcomes while extending modern care to more patients. A 50-year-old male patient with head and neck cancer was the first patient in Taiwan to be treated using RapidArc™ technology from Varian Medical Systems .

Clinicians at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou, which treats patients from across the north of Taiwan, carried out the pioneering treatment in just two and half minutes using two arcs, or rotations, of the machine around the patient. By comparison conventional IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy) treatments would have taken 8 to 10 minutes, according to Dr. Ji-Hong Hong M.D., director of the hospital's department of radiation oncology.

"Along with prostate cancer, head and neck tumors are the most common cancer treated with radiotherapy in Taiwan and we feel patients with these forms of cancer will be the main beneficiaries of RapidArc," says Dr. Hong. "The first patient received radiotherapy using RapidArc for tumors at the base of his tongue and right neck node metastasis. It was quite a complex treatment but delivery was very quick and efficient, with reduced dose to healthy tissue. We were extremely happy with the performance."

"We are convinced that RapidArc has great potential not just because of the speed with which you can deliver the treatment but also because of the flexibility it gives you to deliver from different combinations of arc angles and non-coplanar treatments." Non-coplanar treatments involve varying the angle of the couch on which the patient lies during treatment.

RapidArc delivers a precise and efficient treatment in single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver advanced image-guided intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) up to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. With RapidArc, Varian's Clinac® accelerator can target beams at a tumor while continuously rotating around the patient. Conventional IMRT treatments are slower and more difficult for radiotherapy radiographers because they target tumors using a complex sequence of fixed beams from multiple angles.

"We are certain that RapidArc is the most effective way of delivering advanced radiotherapy treatments to the tumor more quickly while reducing the dose to surrounding healthy tissue," said Dr. Hong. "We have worked with Varian for more than ten years and we have great confidence in their approach. The most important thing for us is that the whole system is well integrated and the flow of work is very smooth, and that is certainly the case with Varian's equipment and software."

Chang Gung Memorial Hospital's department of radiation oncology treats up to 300 patients each day and sees between 2600 and 3000 new cancer patients each year. Such a heavy workload results in mounting waiting lists and Dr. Hong believes RapidArc is a good way to relieve pressure on these waiting lists without compromising the quality of the treatments offered.

Jimmy Lee, Varian's regional sales manager, says, "Chang Gung Memorial Hospital is well known for its pioneering approach, routinely using techniques such as IMRT, image-guided radiotherapy, respiratory gating and radiosurgery in order to offer its patients the most modern treatments possible. It can now add the leading volumetric arc therapy technique to this list and this is good news for patients throughout Taiwan."

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 5,100 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 60 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.

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