PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) has received FDA 510(k) clearance for a new proton scanning dose algorithm that offers clinicians greater control over how proton beams are used to target tumors and other abnormalities. The new algorithm, which has been incorporated into Varian's Eclipse™ treatment planning software, makes it possible to plan for intensity modulated proton therapy by optimizing dose distributions in three dimensions in order to protect surrounding healthy tissues.
This proton scanning technique improves on current proton delivery methods that require a therapist to enter and exit the treatment room numerous times throughout a treatment to adjust physical compensators for processing proton beams. "With proton scanning and intensity-modulation, this cumbersome process can be completely eliminated," said Jeff Amacker, Varian's business manager for treatment planning products.
Proton therapy uses a particle accelerator to generate a beam of protons and deposit them accurately within tumors while sparing adjacent healthy tissues and organs. Unlike the more common photon radiotherapy, with beams that pass all the way through the patient's body, proton therapy beams can be designed to stop and distribute most of their radiation dose at the depth of the tumor. This makes it possible to improve certain cancer treatments by protecting more healthy tissue and thus reduce short- and long-term side effects in cases where surrounding healthy tissues are particularly sensitive to radiation. Radiation oncology experts estimate that about 10 percent of the patients can benefit from having all or some of their treatment with protons.
With the addition of the proton scanning dose algorithm, Eclipse, the fastest, most versatile and widely-used radiotherapy treatment planning system in use today, continues to expand on its functionality as a single system for state-of-the-art proton, photon, electron, and brachytherapy treatment planning. Within the Eclipse planning environment, clinicians can combine and compare plans for any and all of these treatment approaches, to arrive at an optimal strategy for helping each and every patient.
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, 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 X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 4,500 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 60 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/
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SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems
Web site: http://www.varian.com/