- FAST-02 represents a key milestone in the development of Flash therapy
- Flash therapy delivers radiation at ultra-high dose rates in typically less than one second and is capable of being over 100 times faster compared to conventional radiation therapy
PALO ALTO, Calif., June 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) to advance Varian's Flash clinical research program with the FAST-02 (FeAsibility Study of Flash therapy for the Treatment of Symptomatic Bone Metastases) clinical trial. Data from FAST-01, the first-ever human clinical trial of Flash, was used to support the approval of the FAST-02 study and will be reported later this year.
The FAST-02 clinical trial builds on the clinical evidence from FAST-01 and will include bone metastases in the chest, providing critical insights into the clinical use of Flash treatment for cancer metastases.
FAST-02 is expected to enroll 10 patients with painful thoracic bone metastases and aims to evaluate treatment-related side effects and efficacy of treatment, which will be assessed using trial participants' reported pain relief.
Similar to FAST-01, FAST-02 was designed with input from leading scientific experts from the FlashForward™ Consortium and will be conducted at the Cincinnati Children's/UC Health Proton Therapy Center with John C. Breneman, M.D., FASTRO, as principal investigator.
"For the last decade, radiation oncologists have been exploring Flash therapy as an important opportunity to create a paradigm shift in the way we treat patients," said Breneman, Medical Director of the Cincinnati Children's/UC Health Proton Therapy Center, University of Cincinnati Cancer Center member. "The FAST-01 trial laid the groundwork for the approval of FAST-02, and we are excited to continue the clinical research and evaluate Flash therapy in a new patient cohort."
In connection with the FAST-02 clinical trial, the Varian ProBeam® system's proton particle accelerator has been modified to deliver Flash therapy, and Varian's Eclipse™ treatment planning system has also been modified to create plans for the Flash treatments. Varian is the only industry partner to advance the development of Flash therapy as an integrated, end-to-end solution that includes innovations in treatment planning, quality assurance, and therapy delivery technologies.
"Receiving IDE approval for FAST-02 reaffirms our confidence in the potential of Flash therapy and represents an important step toward delivering this groundbreaking therapy in a clinical setting," said Agam Sharda, Vice President of Flash Solutions at Varian. "Together with our FlashForward Consortium, we have expanded Flash therapy research using our systems as we work to improve the patient experience. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with experts around the world to push the boundaries of innovation in cancer care."
"Preclinical research of Flash therapy indicates using ultra-high dose rates may be less toxic to patients overall and enhances sparing of adjacent healthy tissue," said Deepak "Dee" Khuntia, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Varian. "The FAST-02 study will advance our work toward an important proof of concept, particularly in deep-seated tumors. We are eager to build on our clinical understanding of Flash therapy as we continue our work to transform cancer care."
About Flash therapy
Flash therapy, an experimental treatment modality delivering radiation therapy at ultra-high dose rates in typically less than one second, may be over 100 times faster compared to conventional radiation therapy. The concept of ultra-high dose rate radiation delivery has been studied for many years. Dedicated research and development by the team at Varian has led the advancement of clinical evidence for proton Flash therapy. Varian's efforts include investing in bench and preclinical research and supporting the FlashForward™ Consortium, a group of dozens of institutions from around the world, which includes experts in radiation oncology, translational sciences and medical physics.
At Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company, we envision a world without fear of cancer. For more than 70 years, we have developed, built and delivered innovative cancer care technologies and solutions for our clinical partners around the globe to help them treat millions of patients each year. With an Intelligent Cancer Care approach, we are harnessing advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to enhance cancer treatment and expand access to care. Our 11,000 employees across 70 locations keep the patient and our clinical partners at the center of our thinking as we power new victories in cancer care. Because, for cancer patients everywhere, their fight is our fight. For more information, visit https://www.varian.com/ and follow @VarianMedSys on Twitter.
About the Cincinnati Children's/UC Health Proton Therapy Center
The Cincinnati Children's/UC Health Proton Therapy Center, which opened in 2016, is one of only 39 in the United States. Affiliated with the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, the proton therapy center is a $24 million, one-of-a-kind research facility, which includes a fully operational proton treatment room dedicated for just research along with integrated laboratories. The unique capabilities of the research center were instrumental in Cincinnati developing the world's first clinical trial of Flash proton therapy. In addition, children and adults from around the world seek treatment for more than 30 types of cancer in two clinical therapy rooms at the center.
Varian Corporate Communications