EAST STROUDBURG, Pa., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Doctors at the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, are using new image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) technologies from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) to deliver ultra-precise treatment for cancers of the brain, head & neck, prostate, breast, and gastro-intestinal system. The Center's IGRT system uses Varian's On-Board Imager™ device to position patients with sub-millimeter accuracy for treatment as well as Varian's RPM™ Respiratory Gating system to track and compensate for tumor motion caused by breathing.
"The On-Board Imager enables us to pin down the exact location of the tumor at the moment of treatment, so we can fine-tune the patient's position and deliver the dose more precisely," says Michael Greenberg, M.D., medical director at the Center. "With respiratory gating, we can synchronize our treatments with the patient's natural breathing cycle. The two technologies enable us to deliver high doses quickly and accurately while protecting the surrounding healthy tissues."
Shorter Breast Cancer Treatments
Greenberg says that the new IGRT technologies enable him to shorten the duration of some patients' treatments. He recently made it possible for a 70- year-old breast cancer patient to avoid a mastectomy by following up a breast conserving lumpectomy with a single week of IGRT and respiratory gating. "Breast cancer treatments are routinely delivered over a six week period, and this works well," Greenberg said. "But in this case, the patient would have opted for a mastectomy, because she was busy caring for a spouse with Alzheimer's disease, and could not complete a full six-week course of therapy. With the improved precision of IGRT, we can deliver the required dose within ten treatments over five days without putting normal healthy tissues at risk."
In addition, IGRT made it possible for Greenberg to better protect the patient's heart and lung--often a challenge with conventional radiation treatments for left-sided breast cancer.
The On-Board Imager Device
Varian's On-Board Imager is a digital X-ray imaging accessory that works with Varian's Clinac® and Trilogy™ medical linear accelerators, the machines that deliver the radiotherapy treatments. The device produces high- resolution images of the tumor and surrounding anatomy, and tracks tumor motion to show doctors how a tumor will move during treatment due to normal breathing and other physiological processes.
RPM Respiratory Gating
The RPM Respiratory Gating system uses a sophisticated infrared tracking tool to monitor a patient's respiration and to trigger the treatment beam on and off so that it delivers the dose only when the targeted tumor is directly in the path of the beam.
Integration and Automation Make IGRT Feasible
"Our tools from Varian for delivering IGRT function seamlessly within a highly-integrated and automated environment that is coordinated through sophisticated and interconnected treatment planning and information management software products," Greenberg said. "For example, the On-Board Imager comes with software that calculates how much a patient should be moved in order to align the targeted area with the treatment beam, based on the most recently- generated images. All the therapist needs to do is push a button to automatically shift the patient into the correct position for treatment."
According to Greenberg, the automation built into the technology is what makes it possible for clinicians at the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center to administer these highly sophisticated, targeted forms of radiation on a routine basis. "Image-guided therapies are becoming a new standard of care here-one that is not yet available in many university settings. We are pleased to be offering the most advanced forms of treatment available, anywhere in the world, right here to the people of Eastern Pennsylvania," he said.
ABOUT THE DALE AND FRANCES HUGHES CANCER CENTER
The Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer is a department of Pocono Medical Center, which is part of the Pocono Health System. Pocono Medical Center is an acute care hospital accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the national organization responsible for rigorous review of hospital procedures and policies. PMC provides high quality, state-of-the-art acute medical care and is committed to patient satisfaction, education, and promotion of wellness. Besides the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center, Pocono Medical Center includes the Clementine Abeloff Community Health Center, the Mattioli Emergency Center, and numerous other inpatient and outpatient services. PMC is part of the Pocono Health System (PHS). For further information: http://www.hughescancercenter.org/ .
ABOUT VARIAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading manufacturer of integrated cancer therapy systems, which are treating thousands of patients per day. 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 3,500 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 56 sales and support offices around the world. Additional information is available on the company's web site at http://www.varian.com/ .
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Michael Greenberg Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center 570-476-3488 Meryl Ginsberg Varian Medical Systems 650-424-6444 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
CONTACT: Dr. Michael Greenberg of Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center,
+1-570-476-3488; or Meryl Ginsberg of Varian Medical Systems, +1-650-424-6444,