PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) today announced that it will be adding a new tool to its radiotherapy treatment planning software that will enhance both planning efficiency and treatment plan quality. Licensed from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (Fraunhofer ITWM), the sophisticated multi-criteria optimization (MCO) radiotherapy treatment planning tool enables clinicians to quickly compare plans and select the optimal one without having to use a time-consuming trial-and-error process.
The licensing agreement will be effective January 1, 2016, and covers intellectual property, software, and a dedicated researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute who will work with Varian developers on integrating the Fraunhofer tool with Varian's Eclipse™ treatment planning system.
"Treatment planning for radiotherapy or radiosurgery involves managing clinical tradeoffs to arrive at an optimal approach that maximizes dose to the tumor, and minimizes the impact on surrounding healthy tissues," said Corey Zankowski, vice president, products and strategic portfolio management at Varian. "The Fraunhofer multi-criteria optimization tool lets physicians take a set of optimized plans and explore what happens when different clinical criteria are varied—such as the degree to which particular organs are spared versus coverage of the targeted tumor. As different clinical criteria are emphasized, the clinician can look at the tradeoffs and choose a plan that best fulfills the treatment goals."
Studies have shown that the use of multi-criteria optimization enhances both planning efficiency and plan quality compared with trial and error-based treatment planning.,,
Varian will incorporate the multi-criteria treatment planning optimization tool into the company's market-leading Eclipse™ treatment planning software. Eclipse, which is in use at some 3,400 cancer treatment centers around the world, was named "Category Leader" in 2014 and 2013 by KLAS, a research firm that specializes in monitoring and reporting on the performance of healthcare vendors.
"We are pleased to be entering into this partnership with Varian, the global market leader in radiation oncology technology and to have our decision support paradigms incorporated into Eclipse, the leading treatment planning software solution," said Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuefer, head of department optimization at Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics. "We feel that Varian is in the best position to take our tools and put them to work helping people in thousands of clinics around the world."
"As Europe's largest application-oriented research organization, we undertake projects in the areas of health, security, communication, new materials, energy, and the environment, with the goal of making a significant impact on people's lives," said Prof. Dr. Dieter Praetzel-Wolters, director of Fraunhofer ITWM and head of Fraunhofer's Scientific and Technical Council. "We at Fraunhofer are proud to partner with Varian Medical Systems, one of the most successful global players in medical technology."
"The addition of MCO to Eclipse, alongside innovative tools like RapidPlan™ knowledge-based treatment planning will be yet another important step forward in keeping with Varian's ongoing commitment to offering, and continually enhancing, our treatment planning solution to fully empower users so that they can create the best possible plans for their patients," said Zankowski. "We look forward to developing many more tools designed to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of care."
 Craft, DL et al. Improved Planning Time and Plan Quality Through Multicriteria Optimization for Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy. Int. J. Radiation Oncology Biol. Phys. (2012), Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. e83–e90
 D. Craft, D. McQuaid, J. Wala, W. Chen, E. Salari, and T. Bortfeld. Multicriteria VMAT optimization. Medical Physics, 39:686, 2012.
 Kierkels et al. Multicriteria optimization enables less experienced planners to efficiently produce high quality treatment plans in head and neck cancer radiotherapy. Radiation Oncology (2015), 10:87.
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 also a premier supplier of X-ray imaging components, including tubes, digital detectors, and image processing software and workstations for use in medical, scientific, and industrial settings, as well as for security and non-destructive testing. 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. For more information, visit www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.
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