Liverpool, UK, November 25th 2013 – Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) has installed the latest version of its advanced TrueBeam™ radiotherapy and radiosurgery system at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre near Liverpool. The TrueBeam system 2.0 is the infrastructure that enables integration and control of Varian’s PerfectPitch™ six degrees of freedom couch, use of advanced IGRT and motion management capabilities, connectivity for real-time tracking solutions, and a new low-energy and low-dose imaging beam, all of which combine to offer fast and precise treatments.
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, which recently carried out its 100th stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) treatment for lung cancer – historically difficult to treat with radiotherapy – believes the latest version of TrueBeam will help to further improve treatment options at the busy oncology department.
“The new software allows us to deliver the optimal radiotherapy treatments for our patients due to two pioneering additions -- a new PerfectPitch treatment couch that integrates with the existing machine to offer even more accuracy in sub-millimeter patient positioning, and developments to the integrated imager which allow the movement of a patient’s tumor to be assessed before and during treatment,” says Professor Philip Mayles, the center’s head of physics.
Professor Mayles said the new system is used primarily to treat patients with lung, head & neck, esophagus and bladder cancers, with a specific focus on lung cancers, due to the ability to image in 4D. “Using the 4D cone-beam CT scanner during treatment is revolutionary, particularly with lung cancer patients,” added professor Mayles. “Due to the breathing process, a lung tumor can move during the treatment, and the radiotherapy beams are turned on and off so that radiation is delivered only when then tumor is in the correct position. The 4D cone-beam CT scanning capability allows us to map the path of the tumor on screen during treatment to verify that the beams are reaching the cancerous cells at exactly the right point. For head & neck cancers we appreciate the new extended length cone-beam CT feature as it supports our aim to perform dynamic adaptive radiotherapy (DART) in these tumors, which shrink during the course of treatment and therefore accurate plan adaptation is required.”
100th Radiosurgical Patient
The cancer center recently reached a milestone when a 71-year-old woman from North Wales became the 100th lung cancer patient to be treated using advanced SABR techniques enabled by Varian’s state-of-the-art equipment. SABR is an advanced procedure used primarily to target small, early stage lung tumors.
“Clatterbridge was one of the first hospitals in the UK to introduce SABR treatments and we now mentor other facilities across the country to introduce SABR to even more lung cancer patients nationwide,” said Professor Mayles.
Dr. Alison Scott, a medical physicist at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, added, "SABR is an effective and less invasive alternative to surgery for those patients who are suitable. Not only does it remove the need for surgery, it is delivered significantly quicker than conventional radiotherapy treatment. It is not unusual for a course of radiotherapy to require up to twenty visits to the center for treatment over four weeks, but SABR can be delivered in as few as three. Added to which, in suitable patients SABR has similar success rates to surgical treatment, so we're really proud to be pioneering this service here."
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 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 6,400 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and 72 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.