Genolier, Switzerland, July 11th 2013 – Clinicians at a leading cancer center in Switzerland have commenced advanced lung and liver radiotherapy treatments by delivering higher doses using a Varian Clinac® medical linear accelerator. Flattening filter free (FFF) treatments which enable fast dose delivery capabilities are allowing doctors at Genolier Clinic to shorten treatment times and deliver stereotactic body radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery for hard to treat tumors.
“Irradiation time is critically important for patients because shortening the time taken to deliver the dose may help to significantly improve the level of patient comfort,” says Dr. Jacques Bernier, head of radiation oncology at Genolier Clinic. “Through using such FFF treatments and delivering the beam faster, we also see greater precision as there is less opportunity for patient motion. Our objective is always to treat patients with maximum precision and in the best conditions possible for them.”
Dr. Bernier says faster treatment times also mean greater throughput, as each linear accelerator is able to treat more patients each day. “This helps us to avoid long waiting lists of patients as demand for cancer treatments increase,” says Dr. Bernier, who is also the organizer of the bi-annual International Conference on Translational Research in Radio-Oncology and Physics for Health in Europe.
Stereotactic body radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery involve delivering the total dose in fewer treatment sessions, with a greater portion of the dose delivered each session. This means conventional treatment times of five to six weeks can be reduced to just a few days. At Genolier Clinic, stereotactic treatments are used for lung, liver and intra-cranial treatments.
Maintaining patient throughput was also a concern for the Genolier radiation oncology physics group, whose Shelley Bulling said the FFF upgrade for the Clinac was straightforward and easy to verify. “The existing commissioned beams were not impacted and the new FFF mode could be commissioned in parallel with patient treatments,” she said.
“Varian is the world leader in radiotherapy technology and we have pioneered higher dose delivery rates for our family of medical linear accelerators, enabling clinicians to deliver up to 2400 monitor units of radiation when appropriate,” says Rolf Staehelin, Varian’s senior director of international marketing. “That delivery speed is still unmatched in the industry.”
“Around the world, as at Genolier Clinic, these advanced capabilities are enabling fast and precise treatments for a range of treatments, particularly sites such as lung and liver cancer that have traditionally been difficult to treat curatively with radiotherapy.”
He said thousands of installed Varian Clinac linear accelerators are potential candidates for upgrades for FFF technology and the clinical advantages this technology brings.
Genolier Clinic is a private hospital with strong links to local academic hospitals and international cancer centers. The hospital specializes in head and neck, breast, prostate, colo-rectal and lung cancers, as well as lymphomas. Patients come mainly from the local Swiss populace but with an increasing number from overseas, particularly from the Middle East and Russia.
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 6,200 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 Twitter