University Hospitals in Germany and Switzerland Treat Complex Cancer Cases Using RapidArc™ Radiotherapy Technology | Varian

University Hospitals in Germany and Switzerland Treat Complex Cancer Cases Using RapidArc™ Radiotherapy Technology

Gottingen, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland, March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Leading University Hospitals in Germany and Switzerland have commenced treatments for complex cancers, including head & neck tumors, using RapidArc™ radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems . Gottingen University Hospital in Germany and Zurich University Hospital in Switzerland are amongst the earliest implementers of this new, fast form of image-guided intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), which potentially enables doctors to improve outcomes while extending modern care to more patients.

Varian's RapidArc delivers a precise and efficient treatment in single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver image-guided IMRT two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT.

Gottingen University Hospital

Doctors at Gottingen University Hospital are focusing early RapidArc treatments on what they describe as 'difficult' cases. "Today we are treating a nasopharyngeal cancer patient with a boost of RapidArc because we could not create an acceptable IMRT plan, so there are clearly some patients for whom RapidArc offers a more appropriate treatment," says physician Dr. Hilke Vorwerk.

Dr. Vorwerk said they will begin RapidArc treatments for patients with head and neck tumors and prostate cancer. "Our experience so far is that in most cases RapidArc is as good as conventional IMRT and in some cases superior, as well as being considerably faster, which is important for patient comfort but also for treatment precision as there is less patient motion," she said. Gottingen University Hospital has the only radiotherapy department south of Niedersachen and treats up to 2,000 new cancer patients each year.

"Up to now we have not had a major problem with waiting lists but cancer referrals have increased by 150 percent in the last two years, so faster treatments will give us extra capacity to meet this growing demand," added Dr. Vorwerk. "In addition, more patients will be able to receive the most modern treatments available."

Zurich University Hospital

At Zurich University Hospital, a 55-year-old patient with a recurrence of a previously-operated tonsil cancer received RapidArc radiotherapy treatment from Dr. Gabriela Studer and her team. "Our first RapidArc treatment involved a difficult plan because we were treating lymph node metastases and we were very impressed by the speed of the new treatment," says Dr. Studer.

"Here in Zurich we have a long history of delivering IMRT treatments and we focus strongly on complicated head and neck tumors. For such treatments, RapidArc is an extremely valuable new capability to meet our goals. Our first patient particularly appreciated the faster treatment because she suffers from claustrophobia and finds it daunting to lie on the treatment table for very long, so having a fast and open system is a major advantage over slower treatments in a tunnel-like system. Also, the system's cone-beam CT capabilities allow us to implement an adaptive radiotherapy approach where we see big changes in the size and shape of the tumor during treatment."

Zurich University Hospital and Gottingen University Hospital are among more than 70 institutions in the world with the new RapidArc treatment capability for image-guided IMRT. Conventional IMRT treatments are slower and more difficult for radiotherapy radiographers because they target tumors using a complex sequence of fixed beams from multiple angles

Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068

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, proton therapy, 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 and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 5,100 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 60 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit

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

SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.

Web site: