PALO ALTO, Calif., July 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) today announced that the company has shipped more than 250 of its On-Board Imager® devices for image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) and that more than 60 percent of orders for new treatment machines include this accessory. Varian's On-Board Imager (OBI) offers three imaging modalities that make it possible to pinpoint the exact location of the targeted tumor every day prior to treatment; note any changes in tumor size, shape, or position; and track tumor motion in order to enhance treatment precision.
"We are seeing tremendous demand for our image-guided radiotherapy machines with the On-Board Imager-both at freestanding clinics as well as at hospitals and large academic centers," said Timothy Guertin, president and CEO. "IGRT is clearly moving into the medical mainstream. Because the On-Board Imager yields two-dimensional images, 3-D cone-beam CT images, and fluoroscopic moving images, it's the most versatile IGRT tool available and doctors have been capitalizing on all of those capabilities to enhance the quality of patient care."
Clinical Examples of IGRT
Since its introduction in early 2004, the On-Board Imager has been used by doctors in a variety of ways:
In Latham, New York, Arun Puranik, MD, is using the OBI device's cone-beam CT imaging mode to position his prostate cancer patients, reporting that it's "the fastest, most accurate technique I have seen for localizing the prostate every day prior to treatment. CT guidance gives us the ability to spare the penile bulb for potency preservation."
Arno J. Mundt, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Radiation Oncology Department at the University of California at San Diego, says, "I was an ultrasound user before this, and I've switched." Today, he is using the radiographic 2-D imaging mode for positioning every gynecological patient and to detect implanted markers on every prostate cancer patient treated in his department.
For some of his older breast cancer patients, Michael Greenberg, MD, medical director of the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, is using markers, the OBI unit's fluoroscopic imaging mode, and Varian's respiratory gating product to complete a course of radiotherapy in just one week. The added accuracy he can achieve makes it possible for him to deliver higher daily doses over a shorter course of treatment.
At Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Jerome Landry, MD treated a 68-year-old man for gall bladder cancer using the OBI unit, radio-opaque clips, and respiratory gating to locate and accurately target tumor sites and to adjust for tumor motion during treatment.
And at the MIMA Cancer Center in Melbourne, Florida, Todd Scarbrough, MD, treated a 64-year-old lung cancer patient with a small metastatic lesion in his liver with stereotactic radiosurgery. In this case the clinical team combined 3D cone-beam CT and radiographic imaging on the OBI unit to zero in on the tumor site and position the patient for treatment. Respiratory gating was used to account for tumor motion.
"It's clear that radiation oncology is rapidly embracing IGRT as a crucial aid to enhancing the accuracy, effectiveness and reach of radiotherapy," said Guertin. "IGRT is making it possible for more patients to receive advanced treatments such as IMRT and stereotactic radiotherapy and opening the door to treatment of early stage metastatic disease."
There are more than 5,800 radiotherapy centers worldwide, and Varian equips 60 percent of these centers with its integrated and automated radiotherapy systems.
High resolution images are available in the Varian Medical Systems online newsroom at http://varian.mediaroom.com/ .
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading manufacturer of medical technology for treating cancer with radiotherapy and neurological conditions with radiosurgery. The company is also a premier supplier of X-ray tubes and flat-panel digital subsystems for imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 3,600 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 56 sales and support offices around the world. Additional information is available on the company's web site at http://www.varian.com/ .
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SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems
Web site: http://www.varian.com/