PORTSMOUTH, England, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) has this month been selected to provide state-of-the-art radiotherapy equipment for a major new hospital in Portsmouth, England. In one of the country's largest replacement projects since the investment waves of the UK government's Cancer Plan earlier this decade, the new Queen Alexandra Hospital will receive four high-energy Clinac® iX linear accelerators equipped with On-Board Imager® devices for advanced image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) treatments.
Due to open in summer 2009, Queen Alexandra Hospital will enable all acute services currently spread across three sites to be brought together under one roof. This includes the current oncology center at St Mary's Hospital. The new facility will serve a population of 600,000 people.
Tony Palmer, the hospital's head of radiotherapy physics, says, "This new facility will mean we can offer local cancer patients treatments that are truly state-of-the-art internationally. We will also be one of the only NHS cancer centers in the UK with every one of our treatment machines equipped for 3D image-guided radiotherapy, which we feel is crucially important."
According to Mr Palmer, the desire to have all four machines equipped with On-Board Imager accessories was supported by the recommendations of the recent National Radiotherapy Advisory Group (NRAG) report on radiotherapy provision. "The NRAG report highlighted the importance of image-guidance on new linear accelerators and we want to be able to offer our patients the highest quality treatments on all machines, not just one or two," he said. "Our whole team of doctors, radiographers and physicists are very excited about the proposition of a new center with advanced technology for offering the best possible cancer treatments. This will enable us to precisely align the treatment beam with the tumor, using advanced imaging at the point of treatment with the ability to account for respiratory motion."
Clinicians at St Mary's Hospital are about to introduce highly-conformal intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatments and this program will be expanded once the new machines are installed. An Acuity™ simulator at the current facility will be transferred to the new site next year and will have Varian's 4D respiratory compensation functionality added.
David Scott, Varian's UK sales manager, adds, "The team at Portsmouth undertook a very comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the package including the ability to meet clinical and technical requirements as well as service provision and support. As the UK's leading supplier of radiotherapy equipment and software we were extremely pleased to have been selected on this basis over the incumbent supplier and are looking forward to working in partnership with Portsmouth to bring the world's most advanced radiotherapy treatments to patients on the south coast of England."
Prior to the advent of IGRT devices such as the On-Board Imager, radiation oncologists had to contend with variations in patient positioning and with respiratory motion by treating a larger margin of healthy tissue around the tumor. IGRT enables doctors to further minimize the volume of healthy tissue exposed to the treatment beam. Potentially, image data from IGRT tools like the On-Board Imager device will be used to note changes in tumor size and shape over a course of treatment, and make real-time adaptations to the treatment plan.
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 4,400 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 60 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/.
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SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
CONTACT: Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068
Web site: http://www.varian.com/