SHANDONG, China, April 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- One of China's top public cancer centers has introduced image-guided radiotherapy treatments for cancer patients using a Clinac® linear accelerator and On-Board Imager® from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). The new device enables clinicians at Shandong Cancer Hospital in East China to use advanced image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) techniques that improve precision and potentially increase cure rates.
"Precision and accuracy are vital whenever you treat a patient with radiotherapy," says Dr. Jin-Ming Yu, president and chief radiation oncologist at Shandong Cancer Hospital. "IGRT is ultimately all about increasing precision and we are delighted to be able to introduce a comprehensive IGRT program for our patients."
Since installing the IGRT system, Dr. Yu and his team have treated tumors in the head and neck, lung, esophagus, liver, brain and other parts of the body. "Our observations of how tumors move and change over the course of treatment have only served to confirm that image guidance is absolutely essential for adapting to those changes and getting the treatment beam in precisely the correct position," he says.
He added that advanced treatment techniques including biological targeting and IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy) also benefit from an imaging tool such as the On-Board Imager. "Without it, we would have no practical way to set up patients for treatment with the millimeter precision we need to be sure we're always targeting the right place," he said. "We have implemented a comprehensive IGRT program using the OBI device and better outcomes can certainly be expected in the not too distant future."
Using the new equipment, the doctors at Shandong have launched a series of treatment programs that take advantage of the On-Board Imager's available imaging modes, including ways of increasing precision for lung and liver treatments. In particular, the Shandong clinicians have commenced using the device's cone-beam CT functionality to generate enhanced 3-D CT images of brain metastases at the time of treatment. "By using CBCT imaging in combination with a contrast agent, tumors are extremely well defined, which means direct brain tumor registration and online correction is now available to us," said Dr. Yu.
The On-Board Imager makes it possible for clinicians to image and treat on a single machine that rotates around the patient to take X-ray images and deliver treatments from virtually any angle. Mounted on a Clinac® medical linear accelerator, the OBI device produces high-resolution X-ray images of the tumor and tracks changes in tumor shape, size or position over a multi- week course of treatment. It also enables clinicians to track and adjust for tumor motion caused by the patient's breathing during treatment sessions.
Prior to the advent of image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), radiation oncologists had to contend with variations in patient positioning and with respiratory motion by treating a relatively large margin of healthy tissue around the tumor. This increased the risk of complications from the treatment and forced doctors to use lower, less effective doses in their treatments. IGRT enables doctors to minimize the volume of healthy tissue exposed to the treatment beam, giving them the option of using higher doses when the patient needs them.
Shandong Cancer Hospital is one of the leading cancer centers in China, incorporating the country's largest radiotherapy facility, which includes six linear accelerators. About 36,000 patients from across the East China region are treated at the center each year.
Varian Medical Systems, the world leader in radiation therapy, has sold nine On-Board Imager IGRT systems in mainland China to date and the Shandong device is the first to enter clinical use.
Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 3,900 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 56 sales and support offices around the world. In Europe, the company operates manufacturing and engineering centers in Baden (Switzerland), Crawley (England), Haan (Germany), Helsinki (Finland) and Toulouse (France) and has headquarters for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEA) based in Zug, Switzerland. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/.
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SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
CONTACT: Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068,
Web site: http://www.varian.com/