New Cancer Wing Offering Advanced Radiotherapy Treatments Officially Opens in UK | Varian

New Cancer Wing Offering Advanced Radiotherapy Treatments Officially Opens in UK

Guildford, UK, December 7th 2006 – One of the largest oncology centres in the south-east of England will be able to offer patients cutting-edge radiotherapy treatments with the official opening of a new radiotherapy wing. The St Luke’s Cancer Centre at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford is introducing modern beam-shaping techniques such as IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy) using newly-purchased equipment from Varian Medical Systems.

The new Horton wing, officially opened by British television personality Penelope Keith last week, includes purpose-built radiotherapy bunkers to house Varian Clinac® linear accelerators purchased as part of the UK government’s Cancer Plan. The centre, which has used Varian treatment devices for the past 15 years, recently acquired three new Clinac 2100 machines and two more will arrive next year.

The investment is part of a £7 million ($12 million) program to replace the department’s aging radiotherapy treatment machines with state-of-the-art modern equipment. At the end of the project, there will be five new linear accelerators at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, increasing the centre’s capacity and enabling it to cope better with growing patient numbers. The Royal Surrey has a catchment area of over 1.2 million people.

Marianne Illsley, consultant oncologist at the hospital, said, “Centres such as ours are faced with a relentless increase in workload as cancer rates continue to rise. Our Varian machines have been extremely reliable, which is crucial for a busy department such as this and something that our patients depend upon. Our new equipment will enable us to take advantage of the latest advances in radiotherapy, such as the hugely improved accuracy of techniques such as IMRT which enables us to spare healthy tissue and increase doses.‿ St Luke’s IMRT program will commence in the spring.

Varian’s SmartBeam™ IMRT technology is a ground-breaking treatment which improves accuracy while minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Using the Varian system, clinicians can easily deliver this advanced treatment in the conventional 15 minute appointment time slot required for daily cancer treatments.

One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, with about two thirds of cases occurring in those aged 65 and over. It is estimated that around a third of all cancers are caused by smoking and a third by diet. More than 270,000 new cases of cancer are registered in the UK each year. There are over 200 different types of cancer but the four major types - breast, lung, large bowel (colorectal) and prostate - account for over half of all cases diagnosed.

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., (NYSE:VAR) of Palo Alto, California is the world’s leading manufacturer of medical products for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, brachytherapy, and radiosurgery. The company is also a premier supplier of X-ray tubes and digital detectors for imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 3,900 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 56 sales and support offices around the world. In Europe, the company operates manufacturing and engineering centers in Baden (Switzerland), Crawley (England), Haan (Germany), Helsinki (Finland) and Toulouse (France) and has headquarters for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEA) based in Zug, Switzerland. Additional information is available on the company's web site at

Editorial contact:
Neil Madle
Varian Medical Systems
+44 7786 526068