GLASGOW, Scotland, Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Clinicians at one of the UK's largest radiotherapy departments have commenced brain radiosurgery treatments that enable patients to spend less time on the treatment table while aiding precision by minimizing the chance of movement during treatment. Doctors at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow have begun delivering the pioneering treatments using a TrueBeam™ STx linear accelerator from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR).
A 71-year-old female with breast cancer that metastasized to her brain received the first such pioneering radiosurgery treatment for two small brain metastases -- just 5mm and 6mm in diameter – in a single treatment. "Reducing the time the patient spends on the treatment couch is not only easier on the patient but also reduces the opportunity for movement during the treatment, which helps enhance precision," said clinical oncologist Dr. Brian Clark. "Without the TrueBeam system's High Intensity Mode the patient would have received single-fraction fixed beam radiosurgery, taking 45-60 minutes to deliver, with all the inherent problems of potential movement."
In addition to the High Intensity Mode, the first treatment at Glasgow utilized Varian's RapidArc® technology for dose delivery, further expediting the treatment. RapidArc makes it possible to complete a precise treatment by delivering dose continuously during just one or two rotations of the machine around the patient. During a RapidArc treatment, the beam is continually shaped and reshaped to closely conform the dose to the size, shape, and location of the tumor and minimize the dose to surrounding healthy tissue. By using a two-arc approach and delivering the dose at 2400 monitor units per minute --- twice as fast as conventional linear accelerators --- doctors at Glasgow were able to deliver the full prescribed radiosurgery dose of 25 Gy within a single session, with a "beam on" time of five minutes.
"As soon as we installed the TrueBeam system we wanted to start utilizing the High Intensity Mode together with RapidArc to deliver higher doses in a single treatment session," said Garry Currie, head of radiotherapy physics. "The RapidArc planning capability and superior imaging enable us to achieve very high precision, giving us the confidence to deliver such a high dose in a single session to carry out what is effectively a non-invasive technique on small brain metastases."
Garry Currie said following the success of early TrueBeam High Intensity Mode treatments, the technique will be utilized for all radiosurgical treatments at the hospital, including SABR stereotactic radiosurgery in the rest of the body.
The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre treats more than 7,000 patients each year on 11 Varian medical linear accelerators. With a catchment area covering half the population of Scotland, the center has a history of pioneering advanced radiotherapy treatments.
Designed to advance the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, gynaecologic, liver, 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. The TrueBeam STx is a high-end model optimized for radiosurgical applications, where very large doses are delivered in a single treatment or only a few sessions.
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, digital detectors, and image processing workstations 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 6,100 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 or follow us on https://twitter.com/VarianMedSys
SOURCE Varian Medical Systems