LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Slovenian Minister of Health Borut Miklavcic today officially unveiled the nation's first Novalis Tx™ radiosurgery platform for modern radiotherapy and radiosurgery at the Oncology Institute of Ljubljana. The new treatment platform from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) and BrainLAB will give Slovenian cancer patients in the country's only radiotherapy department access to advanced radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatments, including Varian's fast and precise RapidArc® technology.
Doctors at the hospital intend to begin RapidArc treatments on the Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform for patients with head & neck and prostate cancers. "The excellent dose distribution, high precision and extremely fast treatment delivery of the Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform with RapidArc offers a major step forward for both clinicians and patients," said Dr. Bozidar Casar, lead medical physicist. "To be able to deliver this using a multi-modality platform which integrates all modern radiotherapy and radiosurgery technologies will be very beneficial for our patients."
With the new Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform, the clinic can complete complex radiosurgery by delivering more powerful doses to brain tumors or small metastatic lesions throughout the body in just one to five sessions. "We're able to use the radiation beam rather than a scalpel to remove disease without making a single incision," said Bozidar Casar. "It's faster and much easier on patients."
The Oncology Institute of Ljubljana treats over 4,000 new cancer patients - or 5,100 individual treatment courses - each year using six megavoltage treatment units, some of them unable to deliver advanced radiotherapy technologies such as image-guided radiotherapy and intensity modulated radiotherapy. The hospital also treats several hundred new cancer cases each year with brachytherapy. The lack of radiotherapy capacity in Slovenia, a country of just under two million inhabitants, has led to long waiting lists.
"Even though we work in two shifts using the six megavoltage treatment machines, our capacity is clearly insufficient to meet the current standard of fifty percent of cancer patients that should receive radiotherapy during the course of their disease," says Professor Primoz Strojan, head of the radiotherapy department. "All patients with cancer that need radiotherapy have to come to our hospital. With Novalis Tx and RapidArc technology we are gaining a powerful weapon in our fight against cancer which should have, among many other benefits, a positive influence on bringing down waiting lists."
The Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform features very high dose delivery rates, which contributes to shorter treatment times. It also offers dynamic fine beam shaping and non-invasive, precise patient positioning for rapid and more comfortable treatments. Specialized X-ray imaging systems are used to pinpoint the target and position the patient with millimeter accuracy, compensating for any motion that occurs during a treatment.
Bozidar Casar says the clinic will be ready to deliver the full range of treatments when the Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform with RapidArc capability is commissioned in mid-2010.
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, China, and Europe and in its 79 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/
BrainLAB develops, manufactures and markets software-driven medical technology that enables procedures that are more precise, less invasive, and also less expensive than traditional treatments. Among the core products are image-guided systems that provide highly accurate real-time information used for navigation during surgical procedures. This utility has been further expanded to serve as a computer terminal for physicians to more effectively access and interpret diagnostic scans and other digital medical information for better informed decisions. BrainLAB solutions allow expansion from a single system to operating suites to digitally integrated hospitals covering all subspecialties from neurosurgery, orthopedics, ENT, CMF to spine & trauma and oncology. With more than 4500 systems installed in over 80 countries, BrainLAB is a market leader in image-guided technology. The privately held BrainLAB group, founded in 1989, is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and today employs 950 people in 16 offices across Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America. For more information, visit BrainLAB at www.brainlab.com.
SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.