PALO ALTO, Calif. -- August 2, 2004 -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) today announced that the company has received FDA 510(k) clearance for a new “AAA” dose calculation algorithm in the company’s Eclipse™ 3D radiotherapy treatment planning software. The new AAA algorithm improves radiation dose distributions in heterogeneous areas of the body such as the lung, where bone, dense soft tissues, and air pockets each interact with radiation in unique ways. Eclipse is now the first software to offer clinicians both the AAA and the electron Monte Carlo algorithms for planning radiotherapy treatments.The electron Monte Carlo algorithm was added to Eclipse last July for planning electron treatments of tumors close to the skin.
“Our goal is to provide clinicians with advanced algorithms for every form of radiation therapy,” said Jeff Amacker, manager of Varian's treatment planning business. “Doctors will be able to use the new AAA algorithm to create more accurate treatment plans for cancers like that of the lung. By adding the new AAA dose calculation algorithm, we have taken another step in providing clinicians with the tools to deliver fast, accurate treatments that are personalized for every patient.”
The Eclipse planning system with the AAA algorithm can produce a treatment plan for a large tumor volume in less than a minute.
The “AAA” Algorithm Dose Calculation Option
As radiation, in the form of photons (X-rays), enters the body, it interacts with tissues and generates electrons. “These scattered electrons ultimately affect the amount of dose being deposited in and near the targeted tumor,” Amacker explained. “The AAA algorithm calculates how the radiation will behave as it interacts with different kinds of tissues, and accounts for the electron ‘scatter’ and resulting dose effects.”
The AAA algorithm has been integrated to work seamlessly as part of the Eclipse™ treatment planning system.