Integration is the Key for Offering Advanced Cancer Treatments for Patients in Western France | Varian

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Integration is the Key for Offering Advanced Cancer Treatments for Patients in Western France

LA ROCHE-SUR-YON, France, July 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A leading French cancer center is equipping itself to offer a larger number of patients more advanced radiotherapy treatments using new devices and software from Varian Medical Systems. The modern treatment systems will enable La Roche-sur- Yon Hospital to better serve cancer patients among the 500,000 people who live in the region.

Three Varian Clinac® linear accelerators equipped with the latest devices for intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image guided radiotherapy (IGRT) are being installed at the hospital over a seven-month period. Currently equipped with 14-year-old accelerators and imaging and planning software from multiple suppliers, the hospital has chosen to modernize by assembling integrated systems using Varian's new treatment machines as well as its software for treatment planning, image processing and management of patient records.

Stephane Beaumont, medical physicist at La Roche-sur-Yon Hospital, said, "Integration is extremely important for us and we selected Varian because they have designed their equipment and software with the capability to seamlessly interoperate together, which allows us to create highly integrated and automated radiation therapy treatment systems. We also wanted three identical treatment machines to simplify the organisation of the department, especially when the medical physics staff requires machines for quality control purposes or to establish measurements for new techniques."

He said his hospital offered the only radiotherapy treatment facility in the La Roche-sur-Yon region and it is clear they cannot continue with just two heavily-used linear accelerators which are not equipped with the new radiotherapy tools that are needed for IMRT as well as for faster, more comfortable patient treatments. "We wanted the most modern treatment equipment because we wanted to increase our capacity to improve treatments for patients and reduce workloads for the existing machines and staff," he added.

IMRT, which is made possible with advanced treatment planning software and a multileaf collimator for automated beam shaping, concentrates radiation doses on tumors while protecting more surrounding healthy tissue. IGRT uses an On-Board Imager® device to track tumor positions more closely so that treatments can be made more precise. By offering state-of-the-art, modern IGRT and IMRT treatments, Mr Beaumont said the hospital would be better positioned to offer the best available treatment for all patients in the region.

He said increasing the clinic's capacity from two to three accelerators would enable the staff to treat patients from 8am-6pm each day instead of the arduous 7am-9pm schedules endured by the department and its patients in recent years.

"Public cancer centers in France are funded by numbers of patients they treat and by the type of treatment offered," adds Youssef Rihane, Varian's managing director in France. "By improving the treatments on offer, the hospital will be in a much better position to treat more patients. In addition, the growing number of cancer patients in the region will also benefit from the most modern treatments."

Mr Beaumont said the hospital staff is looking forward to working with Varian to continuously optimize the On-Board Imager's kV radiographic and 3D cone-beam CT imaging capabilities to ensure automatic registration of the patient's positioning on a daily basis. "Within two years we want to be checking the position of the bony structures and align the treatment table for every single patient every day, and for that we want to use the 2D possibilities of the On-Board Imager" he said. "We want it to become a routine part of our treatments.

"After this, we want to systematically use the On-Board Imager's 3D procedures to define offline a specific patient Planning Target Volume (PTV). This adapted PTV will be calculated using cone-beam CT examinations acquired just before treatment and we will then use this specific reduced PTV for the rest of the treatment."

He said the ability to monitor patient positioning at the time of treatment would give clinicians more confidence to expand their IMRT program. According to Mr Beaumont, "When you improve the shape of the irradiated volume, the patient only really benefits when you can be as certain as possible about the position of the tumor and this is why IGRT is vital to carrying out IMRT." Varian is the only company to offer 'sliding windows' IMRT, which enables the treatment beam to be shaped while it is operating, rather than having to continually stop the beam between re-shaping.

Varian's 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 the medical linear accelerator, the On-Board Imager device produces high-resolution 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.

With the installation of the third and final accelerator at La Roche-sur-Yon in January 2007, the hospital will have more On Board Imager devices than any other public hospital in France.

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. In Europe, the company operates manufacturing and engineering centers in Baden (Switzerland), Crawley (England), Haan (Germany), Helsinki (Finland) and Toulouse (France) and has headquarters for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEA) based in Zug, Switzerland. Additional information is available on the company's web site at

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SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.

CONTACT: Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068

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