MIAMI, Oct. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A 71-year-old man with a tumor encroaching on his spinal cord was among the first people to receive treatment using a new Edge™ radiosurgery system, recently installed at Innovative Cancer Institute in Miami. A new radiosurgery platform from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), the Edge offers doctors a fast, precise, non-invasive alternative to conventional surgery.
"The Edge system is ideal for this kind of case, which requires tremendous precision," said Beatriz Amendola, MD, medical director at Innovative. "It enables us to deliver high doses very quickly, with great accuracy, helping us avoid adjacent critical structures. We were able to confidently treat the tumor, which was beginning to impinge on the patient's spinal cord, and get the patient back to normal life after just one treatment session. Without treatment, the spinal compression would have worsened, and most likely progressed to severe pain and paralysis."
Innovative is the first treatment center in the Southeastern U.S., and one of only five sites nationwide, to have commenced treating patients using the new Edge system from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR).
"We're excited to be among the earliest adopters of this exciting new technology," Dr. Amendola said. "Our plan is to use it to expand our radiosurgery practice, starting with primary and metastatic spinal tumors, followed by skull base and other head and neck lesions. We will also use the system to treat lung cancer; metastatic tumors in places like the liver, lung, and adrenal gland; and radio-resistant tumors such as melanoma and renal cell cancer."
About the Edge Radiosurgery System
The Edge radiosurgery system enables clinicians to attack tumors quickly and non-invasively, using carefully shaped high-energy X-ray beams. There are no incisions and patients contend with few of the healing, pain, and recovery issues associated with conventional surgery. The system integrates Varian's most advanced medical linear accelerator—a machine that produces the high energy X-ray beams used to treat disease—with tools for real-time imaging, tumor tracking, motion management, and patient positioning.
"The Edge system enables us to treat multiple metastases at the same time, sometimes in a single treatment session rather than one-by-one, which is required when using some other radiosurgery systems," Dr. Amendola said. "That capability gives the Edge system a tremendous efficiency advantage when treating a patient with more than one tumor."
Radiosurgery is a radiation therapy modality in which high doses of radiation are delivered using a very precise beam, in one to five treatment sessions. Historically, because accuracy could be accomplished through rigid immobilization of the head, radiosurgery was used primarily for treatments in the brain. The Edge system enables frameless radiosurgery, whereby real-time image guidance is used to enhance treatment accuracy rather than invasive forms of patient immobilization. This makes it possible to use Edge radiosurgery to treat some cancers in areas outside the brain, such as the lung, liver, and prostate.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the spinal column is the most common site for bone metastases to occur, and at least 30 percent of patients with cancer will experience spread of cancer to the spine.
"Prior to the development of technology for spine radiosurgery, inoperable patients were left without any options other than to manage severe and chronic pain with narcotic analgesia," Dr. Amendola said. "It's gratifying to see that we can achieve high levels of pain control for these patients using radiosurgery."
Dr. Amendola anticipates that the use of radiosurgery will increase exponentially in the future, as physicians become more aware of how the field has evolved. "We're going to see much faster usage growth for treating tumors outside the head than we saw for treating brain tumors, as more and more oncologists and primary care physicians become aware of the power of this technique."
High resolution images of the Edge radiosurgery system can be accessed at this URL: http://newsroom.varian.com/Edge.
Varian's devices, including the Edge radiosurgery system, have been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating lesions, tumors, and conditions anywhere in the body when radiation treatment is indicated. Varian, as a medical device manufacturer, cannot and does not recommend any treatment technique. Individual treatment results may vary.
Important Safety Information
Radiosurgery may cause side effects that can vary depending on the part of the body being treated. The most frequent ones are typically temporary and may include, but are not limited to, irritation to the respiratory, digestive, urinary or reproductive systems, fatigue, nausea, skin irritation, and hair loss. Treatment sessions may vary in complexity and time. Radiation treatment is not appropriate for all cancers. Cancer patients should discuss the potential for side effects and their severity as well as the benefits of radiosurgery with their doctors to determine if radiosurgery treatments are right for them.
About Innovative Cancer Institute
Innovative Cancer Institute (ICI) is a private, outpatient cancer treatment center created to provide individualized care and quality service to our patients. Dr. Beatriz E. Amendola founded ICI in 2008 and the Radiosurgery Division in 2014. The location of the center was selected to satisfy the needs of the local community as well as to serve international patients that frequently visit South Florida. Innovative Cancer Institute is dedicated to delivering the best cancer treatment to all our patients with compassion and care using the most advanced technology available.
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes, digital detectors, and image processing software and workstations for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,800 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.
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FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Varian Medical Systems
Innovative Cancer Institute
Meryl Ginsberg, 650-424-6444
Michelle Heredia, 786-337-3628
SOURCE Varian Medical Systems