Palo Alto, Calif. - June 7, 1999 - Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE: VAR) today announced it has acquired the assets of the Therapy Planning Systems (TPS) Division of Multimedia Medical Systems, Inc. of Charlottesville, Va., to expand its product line for addressing the treatment of prostate cancer with brachytherapy. The acquisition enables Varian Medical Systems to supply additional state-of-the-art treatment planning software for brachytherapy in which radioactive "seeds" are implanted within tumors. Financial terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed.
The MMS/TPS product is the world’s leading treatment planning software product for low dose rate brachytherapy. It will complement Varian Medical Systems’ existing treatment planning tools for HDR (high dose rate) brachytherapy. Bracytherapy is gaining in acceptance among patients and doctors as a method for treating prostate cancer in combination with external beam radiotherapy and as an alternative to surgery. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to strike men, with some 200,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the U.S.
"This is a logical addition to Varian Medical Systems cancer treatment solutions. It complements our existing HDR brachytherapy system and treatment planning tools," said Richard M. Levy, president and CEO of Varian Medical Systems. "This leading-edge planning software will enable us to provide customers with another proven weapon on the fastest moving front in the war against one of the world’s most pervasive cancers."
Relative to surgery, brachytherapy and external beam radiotherapy have an equivalent clinical success rate, fewer side effects involving impotence and incontinence, faster recoveries, and lower cost, according to clinical studies. The implantation of 40 to 100 rice-sized seeds can be done on an outpatient basis with only a 2- to 3-day recovery period whereas recovery from surgery can take six to eight weeks.
Easier, More Accurate Treatment Planning Solution
The MMS TherpacPLUS 6.7 B3DTUI software developed by MMS/TPS is a transperineal ultrasound-guided implant treatment planning system, optimized for prostate carcinoma. The software is used with ultrasound and CT images to develop pre-operative plans for placing seeds and for calculating radiation dose volumes. It is also used to evaluate treatment success using 3-D CT images to measure tumor shrinkage.
The easy-to-use Windows 95/NT application enables telemedical acquisition of ultrasound data via a high-resolution image capture board. It supports automatic seed placement protocols or manual seed placement, and provides real-time AAPM TG-43 dose calculations. A variety of advanced 3D visualization capabilities are available, including real-time manipulation of structures and dose volumes. The TherpacPLUS software generates a variety of user selectable printouts, such as contiguous volume analysis, dose volume histograms, gray scale images with isodose levels, needle loading reports and seed positions.
In addition to prostate cancer, the software has potential applications in planning treatments for lung, head and neck and gynecological cancers. With more than 250 of these systems in place, Varian Medical Systems now will have the largest installed base in the world for brachytherapy treatment planning.
The MMS/TPS software adds to Varian Medical Systems’ integrated systems and services, including hardware and software for planning, delivering and evaluating cancer treatments with radiotherapy. It will be offered as a stand-alone product as well as an integrated part of Varian Medical Systems’ Treatment Planning System. It is expected to complement Varian Medical Systems VariSource™ 200 Series product line for HDR brachytherapy, including, BrachyVision™ and SmartSeed™ products that are used for high dose rate radiotherapy in prostate and other cancers.
Multimedia Medical Systems, of Charlottesville, Va., develops Internet-based image management systems that are designed to help physicians do their clinical work more efficiently and effectively.