GOTHENBURG, Sweden and LINKOPING, Sweden, May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Two major cancer centers in Sweden are planning to initiate image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) treatments for their patients using state-of-the-art equipment from Varian Medical Systems, world leader in radiotherapy. Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg and Linkoping University Hospital, in the south east of Sweden, are both embarking on major expansions to improve patient care and bring down waiting times in their healthcare regions by acquiring several new linear accelerators equipped with On Board Imager® accessories.
Sahlgrenska Hospital is acquiring three new Clinac® linear accelerators, two of which are equipped with On-Board Imager accessories, and will be expanding its existing VARiS Vision™ information management and Eclipse™ treatment planning networks. Linkoping Hospital is acquiring two new Clinac accelerators with On-Board Imager devices and an Acuity™ simulator, as well as upgrading its VARiS Vision network to Varian's latest ARIA™ system.
"Both these oncology centers are known for putting pioneering medical technologies into routine clinical use for the benefit of patients and Varian is delighted to be a part of this leadership in IGRT," says Walter Frei, head of Varian's Oncology Systems business in Europe.
Sven Hertzman, director of the Department of Therapeutic Radiophysics at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, said, "We constantly try to improve treatment capabilities for cancer patients and we have a track record of bringing new techniques into clinical use. We were early to introduce intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and we want to be at the forefront of IGRT as well."
Using the new On-Board Imager, clinicians at these centers will be able to see the tumor at the time of treatments so that patient positioning and beam- timing can be adjusted to improve the treatment precision. Sahlgrenska University Hospital will also use Varian's RPM™ respiratory gating system, which enables doctors to track tumor motion and time beam delivery with the patient's natural breathing pattern.
Thomas Bjork Eriksson, senior consultant and head of the radiotherapy unit at Sahlgrenska, added, "We are under great pressure to treat a larger number of patients because waiting times in the western region have been up to ten weeks, which is totally unacceptable. Using this new equipment we will be increasing patient treatments by forty percent, as well as offering them the very latest in high precision radiotherapy techniques."
Under the hospital's expansion plans, three new treatment rooms are being constructed alongside the existing center and the new units, which were ordered in February, will be delivered and installed over the next year. At the end of the project, the hospital will have nine linear accelerators treating routinely and a tenth unit as back-up, compared with the current total of seven machines. "We have always been happy with Varian equipment because they are reliable, efficient and we receive excellent support," he added.
Linkoping University Hospital placed an order for two new IGRT-enabled linear accelerators in December and they will be installed in a new cancer center that should be constructed by the end of the year. The new machines are slated to be installed in January 2007 and the new center will have four treatment machines in total.
"Our existing building is very old," says Rolf Edelman, the medical physicist responsible for the modernization, "but this project means we can be brought up to date with the most modern capabilities to offer our patients. This hospital has been a Varian customer since 1972 and we are very happy with that situation. Varian's machines just keep running and running -- indeed, our first Varian accelerator that we acquired in 1972 was still working when we decommissioned it in 1997!"
Dr Mans Agrup, head of radiotherapy, adds, "With the new equipment we will be able to further increase the accuracy of our treatments. We can offer our patients the very best and most up-to-date treatment options."
IGRT and IMRT
Varian's On-Board Imager device is a digital imaging system mounted on the treatment machine via robotically controlled arms that operate along three axes of motion so that they can be positioned optimally for the best possible view of the tumor. This device produces high-resolution images of the area to be treated. In addition, it can track tumor motion to provide doctors with a clear indication of exactly how a tumor will move during treatment due to respiration or other repeatable physiological cycles.
As well as enabling treatments using IGRT, the On-Board Imager device will also provide the impetus for doctors at both hospitals to expand their IMRT (intensity-modulated radiotherapy) programs. IMRT is a breakthrough radiotherapy process that enables clinicians to precisely target the radiation dose at the cancerous tumor while protecting surrounding healthy tissue, as well as automatically varying the dose strength to kill the tumor more effectively.
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading manufacturer of medical technology for treating cancer with radiotherapy and neurological conditions with radiosurgery. 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 3,600 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 56 sales and support offices around the world. In Europe, the company operates manufacturing and engineering centers in Baden (Switzerland), Crawley (England), Haan (Germany), Helsinki (Finland) and Toulouse (France) and has headquarters for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEA) based in Zug, Switzerland.Additional information is available on the company's web site at http://www.varian.com/ .
Forward Looking Statements
Statements 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" and "expect," 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.
Contact: Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44-7786-526068, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
CONTACT: Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44-7786-526068, or
Web site: http://www.varian.com/