Providence Hospital In Mobile, Alabama Commences Treating Patients Using the New Trilogy™ System for Image-Guided Stereotactic Radiotherapy | Varian

Providence Hospital In Mobile, Alabama Commences Treating Patients Using the New Trilogy™ System for Image-Guided Stereotactic Radiotherapy

MOBILE, Ala., March 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Providence Hospital in Mobile, Alabama, has begun treating patients once thought to have inoperable brain ailments with the new Trilogy™ stereotactic system, from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). The system allows the highly trained physicians at Providence to perform non-invasive brain treatment without an incision, with minimal pain and oftentimes, with no hospitalization.

The Trilogy system is the most powerful and versatile cancer treatment technology available using image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), stereotactic treatment and conformal radiotherapy (CRT) in one system. The system delivers a wide range of precise treatments making it easier to treat difficult conditions including cancer and certain neurological conditions.

"This technology brings us to a new level, significantly improving on precision and shortening the duration of these types of treatments," observed Robert Gilbert, MD, radiation oncologist. "That means more accurate targeting along with greater patient comfort, since patients spend less time on the treatment table."

Providence Hospital worked closely with Coastal Neurological Institute, PC (CNI) to be among the first in the nation to deploy this new technology along the Gulf Coast.

"As a community hospital, Providence was in the unique position to associate with CNI to provide Trilogy treatment to patients in the region bringing new hope to many. Providence Hospital will continue to team with Ascension Health partner Sacred Heart Health System of Pensacola, Fla. to expand cancer care along the Gulf Coast. Trilogy treatment provides our patients with treatment that has only just now become available. There are only a handful of other cities offering the treatment, and most of those are only available at teaching and research hospitals," Clark P. Christianson, president and CEO, said.

Neurosurgeons Juan F. Ronderos, MD, and Troy Middleton, MD collaborated with Dr. Gilbert to treat patients using the hospital's new system for the first time on Feb. 18, 2005.

"The Trilogy system has been optimized for radiosurgery and radiotherapy. The technology represents a significant advancement for neurosurgical and cancer patients in the region," said Dr. Ronderos. "This technology meets or surpasses all other existing technology, making Providence Hospital a world leader in radiosurgery now and into the foreseeable future."

At the core of the Trilogy system is a high-powered medical linear accelerator, a machine that rotates around the patient to deliver radiation treatments from nearly any angle. The system focuses on the tumor or lesion so that radiation is delivered directly to the target, while minimizing the exposure of normal, healthy tissues. The system also incorporates a multi-leaf collimator for shaping the radiation beam to match the three-dimensional shape of the tumor, and a built-in X-ray imaging device for fast, accurate, real- time tumor tracking and automated patient positioning.

The Trilogy technology can be used to deliver all forms of external beam radiotherapy, including 3-D conformal (3D-CRT), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), and image-guided radiosurgery (IGRS). Clinicians at Providence Hospital plan to use the Trilogy stereotactic system primarily to treat brain cancer and functional disorders such as trigeminal neuralgia. "It will also be used to target tumors that lie extremely close to critical structures or organs like the spinal cord or, in the case of head and neck cancer, the eyes or the salivary glands," Dr. Gilbert said.

More than 24,000 new cancer cases are expected in the state of Alabama in 2005, according to the American Cancer Society. The American Brain Tumor Association estimates that some 190,000 people are diagnosed with brain tumors or metastases each year in the United States. Patients who seek treatment at Providence in Mobile, Alabama, now have access to the most advanced treatment technologies in the world for these types of conditions.

"Trilogy is a state-of-the-art system designed to enable clinicians to treat patients with the most advanced radiotherapy techniques, using clinically efficient processes," said Richard Levy, chairman and CEO of Varian Medical Systems. "Our goal, with this technology, is to raise the standard of care while lowering the cost of treatment. Trilogy is a cost-effective tool, something both neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists can use to adopt the most appropriate approach for treating their patients, without having to buy two separate, expensive machines. We're extremely gratified to see this happening in forward-looking community hospitals like Providence Hospital."

ABOUT VARIAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading manufacturer of integrated cancer therapy systems, which are treating thousands of patients per day. The company is also a premier supplier of X- ray tubes and flat-panel digital subsystems for imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 3,300 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 55 sales and support offices around the world. Additional information is available on the company's investor relations web site at http://www.varian.com/.

ABOUT PROVIDENCE HOSPITAL

Providence Hospital is a 349-bed Catholic medical/surgical facility located on a 277-acre campus in west Mobile. Founded in 1854, Providence has been serving, caring and healing the people of Mobile and surrounding areas for more than 150 years. Mobile's most preferred hospital for eight consecutive years, Providence admits approximately 17,000 inpatients annually. Outpatient and emergency room registrations exceed 150,000 per year. Specialized services offered at Providence include open-heart surgery, cardiac catheterization, cancer services, an obstetrics unit with labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum suites, a dedicated pediatrics unit, a freestanding rehabilitation and wellness center and a 100,000 square foot Outpatient Center with dedicated outpatient diagnostic services and surgical suites. The hospital's 550-plus-member medical staff includes representatives from every major medical specialty and subspecialty, with more than 200 physicians located in offices on the campus.

ABOUT ASCENSION HEALTH

Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic and largest nonprofit health system, serving patients through a network of hospitals and related health facilities providing acute care services, long-term care, community health services, psychiatric, rehabilitation and residential care.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT

SStatements in this press release regarding future business, events, plans, objectives, expectations, estimates, and other similar matters, including, but not limited to, statements using the terms "can," "plan," and "will" constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements contained in this press release are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including, but not limited to, the risks described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports filed from time to time by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent the Company's judgment as of the date of this press release. The Company assumes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements because of new information, future events, or otherwise.

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
   Varian Medical Systems                  Providence Hospital
   Meryl Ginsberg, 650-424-6444            Michael King, 251-633-1367
   meryl.ginsberg@varian.com               mking@providencehospital.org
                                           Jill Haynes 251-473-6349 or
                                           jhaynes@mdimedigroup.com

SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems

Web site: http://www.varian.com/