London, England, May 9th 2011 -- Hospitals across Europe have been among the earliest global adopters of the state-of-the-art TrueBeam system, which was introduced last year by Varian for fast and precise radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatments. Of the first fifty TrueBeam systems to begin treating patients clinically, ten are in Europe, where thousands of patients have already received advanced treatments.
“We have seen an unprecedented adoption for a new linear accelerator platform and we are delighted that hospitals globally are using TrueBeam to treat a greater number of patients while pushing back the boundaries of advanced radiotherapy treatments, enabling difficult to treat tumours such as lung and liver to be treated effectively by radiotherapy and radiosurgery,” says Rolf Staehelin, head of international marketing for Varian’s Oncology Systems unit.
TrueBeam is the centrepiece of Varian’s booth at this week’s annual meeting of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ESTRO) in London, where the UK’s first TrueBeam system will enter clinical use at University College Hospital this summer in a joint project between HCA NHS Ventures and the hospital. Derek D’Souza, head of radiotherapy physics at UCH, said: “TrueBeam will offer patients new treatments using small, high-intensity fields of radiation to treat the tumour. It provides greater efficiency in the steps needed for imaging, positioning and treating patients and offers a high degree of precision.”
Richard Yacob, director of medical physics at HCA-NHS/ Ventures, added, “TrueBeam was selected for this project as we believe it to be the most advanced system of its kind. As well as being able to deliver higher doses faster than other systems, it is also capable of advanced real-time imaging and gated RapidArc. It will be a big step forward in providing higher precision in treatment delivery.”
TrueBeam was designed from the ground up to treat tumors in a fast and precise manner, including tumors that move during treatment as the patient breathes in and out. Designed to advance the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, and other types of cancer, TrueBeam features a multitude of technical innovations that dynamically synchronize imaging, patient positioning, motion management, and treatment delivery. With its High Intensity Mode, TrueBeam can deliver very high doses quickly and accurately, more than twice as fast as earlier generations of technology.
European Clinical Experience
At Humanitas Institute in Rozzano-Milan, Italy, TrueBeam is routinely used to treat 50 patients a day and treatments focus on hypo-fractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), in particular for liver and pancreatic cancer, non small-cell lung cancer and lymph-node metastases, along with Total Marrow Irradiation. “TrueBeam enables us to offer treatments for different kinds of pathologies than have previously been possible with radiosurgery here at Humanitas,” said Dr. Marta Scorsetti, head of radiation oncology and radiosurgery at the hospital. “We are impressed by the greater precision and higher quality imaging, higher possible dose rate, the ability to deliver the total dose in fewer fractions and the speed of the treatment, which allows for shorter treatment sessions for patients.” To date, Humanitas Institute has treated more than 420 patients using the TrueBeam device, with 25 new patients commencing treatment on the system each week.
Two TrueBeam devices are treating up to 100 patients a day at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and according to department head Dr. Ben Slotman, the devices have become a vital part of their stereotactic body radiotherapy program. “From a clinical perspective, TrueBeam enables better integration between imaging and treatment delivery, much faster dose output using the flattening filter free mode, and a much shorter time is needed for pre-treatment setup due to the user-friendly nature of the equipment,” he says.
Zurich University Hospital in Switzerland was the first clinic in the world to commence treatment with TrueBeam in March 2010. “We have found the system technically wonderful, giving us dose distributions that are slightly superior to intensity modulated radiotherapy from conventional systems, with lower doses to surrounding healthy tissues," says Professor Urs M. Lütolf, M.D., clinical director and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology. "I have been astonished and excited to see the degree to which the TrueBeam image isocenter matches the beam isocenter, at a level of precision I have never seen before."
Also in Switzerland, Inselspital Bern and Kantonsspital Hospital Winterthur are treating cancer patients clinically with TrueBeam. “TrueBeam enables us to deliver precise image-guided treatments quickly, which may potentially lead to a greater number of cancer patients who can benefit from these advanced radiotherapy treatments,” says Professor Daniel Aebersold of Inspelspital, the university hospital of Bern. “To date we have used TrueBeam mainly for patients with large tumors, such as you often find with cervical cancer, anal cancer and advanced head and neck cancer.”
Dr Urs Meier, head of radiation oncology at Winterthur, says, “TrueBeam enables radio-oncology departments to perform fast and precise image-guided treatments, thereby allowing for shorter treatment sessions for patients and potentially, a greater number of patients being treated.”
In recent weeks, routine clinical TrueBeam treatments have also commenced at Institut Catala d’Oncologia (ICO) in Barcelona, Spain; Neolife Medical Center in Istanbul, Turkey; Davidoff Center in Petah Tikva, Israel; Casa di Cura San Rossore in Pisa, Italy; Radioonkologie Amsler in Liestal, Switzerland Strahlentherapie-Bonn-Rhein-Sieg/St. Josef Hospital in Troisdorf, Germany; and Azizia Royal Clinic/Azizia Royal Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
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, 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 5,500 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com.