Tasmanian Cancer Patients to Receive Advanced Image-Guided Radiation Therapy Treatments With Arrival of New Varian Linear Accelerators with On-Board Imagers | Varian

Tasmanian Cancer Patients to Receive Advanced Image-Guided Radiation Therapy Treatments With Arrival of New Varian Linear Accelerators with On-Board Imagers

TASMANIA, Australia, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Cancer patients in Tasmania will have access to state-of-the-art treatments when the state's two oncology centers install the latest in image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) equipment from Varian Medical Systems. Radiotherapy departments in the capital Hobart and Launceston which serve the island's 500,000 inhabitants have both announced they have ordered new Varian Clinac® iX linear accelerators equipped with On-Board Imager® devices and plan to launch IGRT programs early next year.

Three new Clinac iX accelerators -- the machines that deliver radiotherapy -- were ordered in February for the two clinics as the Australian state, which comprises the island of Tasmania and surrounding smaller islands, seeks to upgrade its cancer treatment facilities to take advantage of recent advances in real-time radiographic, fluoroscopic and 3D Conebeam CT imaging.

The Holman Clinic at the Royal Hobart Hospital will be replacing a low-energy accelerator with a high-energy Varian Clinac iX machine equipped with an On-Board Imager. The center already has a modern Varian Clinac 23 EX accelerator with a 120 multileaf collimator. At the Holman Clinic at the Launceston General Hospital, in the north of the state, a bunker is currently being constructed to house a new Clinac iX accelerator and, when this machine is up and running early next year, one of the center's existing treatment machines will be decommissioned and replaced with a second new Clinac iX.

Grant Smith, acting chief radiation therapist and business manager at the Holman Clinic in Launceston, says, "This will allow us greater capacity to treat patients with high energy radiotherapy. IGRT will provide 3D verification of the tumor position and adjacent critical organs. Any change in tumor position will be identified and necessary adjustments made to ensure accurate and effective treatment. IGRT will allow for dose escalation to further improve tumor control."

Marianne Hercus, acting chief radiation therapist at The Royal Hobart, agreed saying the new IGRT capability will complement the center's existing IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy) program and enable clinicians to extend the program to include prostate treatments and introduce respiratory gating techniques to track tumor motion caused by the patient's breathing pattern.

The Varian 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.

Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068, neil.madle@varian.com

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 4,300 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 56 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/.

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SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.

CONTACT: Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, Inc., +44 7786 526068,
neil.madle@varian.com

Web site: http://www.varian.com/