MELBOURNE, Australia, March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A three-year-old fibromatosis sufferer is among the first patients in Australia to be treated on a Trilogy medical linear accelerator from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). The treatment took place at the Peter MacCallum Hospital in Melbourne, where the Trilogy accelerator was recently installed and officially unveiled at an inauguration ceremony attended by the Premier of the State of Victoria and the Victoria government health minister.
The arrival of the Trilogy device means some of the world's most advanced radiotherapy treatments are now available to Australian cancer patients. Using this advanced and versatile treatment machine, doctors at the center will be able to offer cancer patients of all ages more targeted treatments using new methods including intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image guided radiotherapy (IGRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).
"The Trilogy accelerator is the newest and most sophisticated of cancer treatment machines and will enable patients to receive faster and more precise radiotherapy, which will reduce side effects associated with cancer treatment," said Victoria health minister Bronwyn Pike at the inauguration ceremony.
Ms. Pike said that on many cancers near the brain, face and throat, the parotid gland that produces saliva would previously have had anywhere upward of a 50 per cent chance of being scarred or destroyed, leading to teeth problems and mouth ulcers. "With this machine the risk is now below five per cent," she said.
"Also, cancers close to the brain would previously have been subjected to a heavy dose posing a significant risk of damaging healthy brain tissue in children and causing learning problems later in life. The Trilogy accelerator minimizes the treatment area, meaning most children are very unlikely to experience any extra problems. This is a major improvement particularly in the treatment of children, giving them the best chance at growing up healthily."
The three-year-old, from the Melbourne suburb of Melton, responded well with few side effects and has now completed her six-week course of radiotherapy treatment.
Plans for the Trilogy device
Director of radiation oncology at Peter MacCallum, Dr Gillian Duchesne, said, "The treatment is fast, comfortable and child-friendly, which is really important for families. The very tight specifications mean that the Trilogy is particularly suited to taking our pediatric, head & neck and IMRT work. The real-time imaging capabilities are going to open up an exciting new era for this hospital."
Dr Duchesne said clinicians at the center are currently evaluating the soft-tissue imaging capability as a way of fine-tuning the planning process, reducing treatment volumes and minimizing doses to normal tissues.
"It is wonderful for our center to be able to say we have installed the first Trilogy in Australia but it's even more important to be able to share our early experiences with other Australian sites as they come on board," she added.
A fully-accessorized Varian Medical Systems Trilogy medical linear accelerator is capable of offering all standard radiation therapies as well as advanced treatments that make it possible to concentrate more dose on tumors while protecting surrounding healthy tissue. It is expected to help doctors to improve cure rates for patients while reducing treatment complications.
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/ .
About Peter Mac
The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre -- Peter Mac -- provides high quality treatment for people with cancer and is a centre of excellence in cancer research, education and supportive care. Peter Mac is home to Australia's largest specialist radiation therapy center, and provides radiotherapy treatment to over 5,000 patients each year. The center provides radiation oncology services across four campuses, three in the metropolitan area of Melbourne and one in the rural area. When current refurbishment work is completed, the center will house a total of 11 Varian linear accelerators. Specialist areas in which Peter Mac provides radiotherapy include stereotactic treatment, total body irradiation, IMRT, pediatric treatments and brachytherapy.
MEDIA CONTACT: Neil Madle Varian Medical Systems +44 7786 526068 High resolution photo available on request.
SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
CONTACT: media, Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068
Web site: http://www.varian.com/