BOSTON--(BW HealthWire)--Oct. 23, 2000--GE Medical Systems (NYSE:GE) and Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE:VAR), the world's leading diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy companies, today announced See and Treat Cancer Care�, a revolutionary cancer treatment process that, for the first time, combines multiple patient imaging techniques with radiotherapy technologies to help physicians pinpoint and eradicate tumors.
Now doctors can "zero in" on the location of a suspected tumor and then target it for treatment with precisely placed radiation beams using a technique called intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Initial experience with IMRT, which enables physicians to concentrate dose on tumors while protecting surrounding healthy tissue, is resulting in promising prostate cancer outcomes. It is also being used to treat breast, head and neck, and other types of cancer.
Before patients undergo treatment, doctors generate a variety of anatomic and physiological patient images. Then the images are fused together using highly advanced 3-D software to more accurately locate and evaluate tumors. This builds doctors' confidence when treating patients.
"Varian Medical Systems and GE Medical Systems have combined resources to provide a single, comprehensive suite of imaging, information management, and integrated treatment solutions," said Richard M. Levy, Varian Medical Systems president and CEO. "See and Treat Cancer Care embodies the world's leading imaging and treatment equipment as well as reliable service, and comprehensive information for optimal patient treatment and clinical management. It has great potential to further our goals of significantly reducing healthcare costs, and improving the quality of care, outcomes, and quality of life for cancer patients."
See and Treat Cancer Care is available now, and GE and Varian Medical Systems are exhibiting these technologies this week at the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).
"The combination of technological breakthroughs in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy is one of the most promising developments for cancer patients in decades," said Jeffrey R. Immelt, president and CEO of GE Medical Systems. "These emerging technologies make See and Treat Cancer Care a very powerful tool for physicians to provide the best, most advanced treatments for their patients."
See and Treat Cancer Care arises from an agreement announced by Varian Medical Systems and GE Medical Systems in January on a North American marketing, sales, and product development alliance in which Varian will offer cancer treatment centers a package of state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy systems. The alliance is intended to accelerate deployment of integrated systems for advanced radiotherapy, including high resolution IMRT.
See and Treat Cancer Care comprises several GE imaging technologies for detecting and locating tumors and organs. These include systems for computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that help show the location of tumors within patient anatomy. They also encompass systems for Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) which help provide metabolic data on the location, size, and aggressiveness of tumors. See and Treat Cancer Care enables clinicians to collect and combine patient data from all of these imaging technologies in order to develop optimal plans for radiation therapy. The GE imaging data is easily transmitted to Varian's treatment systems through standard medical electronic information interfaces.
See and Treat Cancer Care includes Varian's fully integrated platform of hardware and software for planning and delivering the most advanced radiation treatments, using data collected with GE's imaging technologies. Varian's treatment system includes medical linear accelerators, multi-leaf collimators, treatment simulators, patient couches, and other ancillary hardware that are linked through an information and image processing network. Software within the network serves to process images, develop and simulate treatment plans, control treatment equipment, provide quality assurance, and manage clinical and patient information. Varian's system is the world's only fully integrated system for radiotherapy. It is designed for cost-efficient, rapid development of optimal patient treatments.
About GE Medical Systems
GE Medical Systems is a $7 billion global leader in medical information and technology. Its offerings include networking and productivity tools, health care information systems, patient monitoring systems, conventional and digital X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR), ultrasound, positron emission tomography (PET), and nuclear medicine. For more than 100 years, health care providers worldwide have relied on GE Medical Systems for high-quality medical technology, services, and productivity solutions. For more information, visit the GE Medical Systems Web site at gemedicalsystems.com.
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., (NYSE:VAR) of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of integrated cancer therapy systems which are treating thousands of patients per day. 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 2,300 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe and in its 40 sales and support offices around the world. Additional information is available on the company's Web site at www.varian.com.