QUEENSLAND, Australia, July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A 71-year-old prostate cancer patient has become the first patient in Australia to receive radiotherapy treatments using RapidPlan™ knowledge-based planning from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). The pioneering treatment was carried out at Radiation Oncology Queensland (ROQ) in Cairns.
"The treatment was planned both conventionally and using RapidPlan and we were comfortable that for this case RapidPlan produced a better treatment plan," says Kenton Thompson, ROQ's head of radiation therapy services. "Using this approach, we are able to produce the same quality in a fraction of the time it takes to plan conventionally. The objective is to produce optimal plans with the best trade-off between sparing the organs at risk and covering the target and this is where knowledge-based planning can really help. RapidPlan helps to ensure that all plans are of the same high quality."
RapidPlan is a comprehensive tool within Varian's Eclipse™ treatment planning system that may be used to plan all types of advanced radiotherapy techniques including intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), RapidArc® radiotherapy, and stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR). It enables users to draw from a library of 'best-case' plans to speed up the often time-consuming planning process and to optimize quality. In this way, such knowledge-based planning can allow future patients to benefit from the knowledge gained from past patients. In this case, clinicians at ROQ selected a prostate treatment model developed by Washington University in St. Louis.
"Historically, assessing plan quality has been more of a subjective process dependent on the skills and experience of the reviewer," said chief radiation therapist Mark Jones. "We want consistency across our sites and RapidPlan enables us to implement the same quality to benefit all of our patients. Through auditing and benchmarking, RapidPlan can be utilized as part of a continuing quality assurance program for treatment planning."
Since the first treatment, a second patient at Cairns has already commenced treatments after being planned with RapidPlan, and a similar approach is now being introduced at a second ROQ site in Toowoomba. Treatments at these ROQ hospitals are delivered using Varian linear accelerators.
"We are pleased to see such an eminent oncology center as ROQ introducing RapidPlan into the clinical workflow," said Stuart Hamilton, Varian's regional sales director. "RapidPlan does for radiotherapy planning what our RapidArc system did for radiotherapy treatments by enhancing the speed, quality and accessibility of advanced treatments."
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, focuses energy on saving lives by equipping the world with advanced technology for fighting cancer and for X-ray imaging. The company is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiation. The company provides comprehensive solutions for 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 high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,800 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. The company's center in Beijing encompasses oncology equipment manufacturing operations, an educational center for radiotherapy clinical professionals, a customer service center, and X-ray Products assembly and service. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com.
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems