December 15, 2004 -- A leading Rome hospital is constructing a new radiotherapy department that will offer cancer patients advanced treatments including intensity modulated radiotherapy using technology from Varian Medical Systems. The multi-million euro facility at the Azienda Ospedaliera Sant’ Andrea - Universita La Sapienza, due to open in 2005, will be one of the most technologically advanced cancer centres in Italy.
“The new clinic will be among the largest and most advanced in the country, with all modern techniques available for the benefit of patients, ” says Professor Riccardo Maurizi Enrici, chief radiotherapist at Sant Andrea Hospital.
In particular, clinicians at the hospital will be among the first in Italy to treat patients with Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), a ground-breaking treatment which improves accuracy while minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Professor Maurizi Enrici said his team would be treating 150 patients from Rome and the surrounding region each day. Varian’s SmartBeam™ IMRT technology makes it possible to easily deliver this advanced treatment in the conventional 10-15 minute appointment time slot required for daily cancer treatments.
“We opted for Varian because of its high quality products and the prestige of working with the world leader in this field,”said Professor Maurizi Enrici.
Varian will be supplying three high energy Clinac&trade linear accelerators, all equipped with Millennium™ MLC multileaf collimators,PortalVision™ verification capabilities, two Eclipse™ treatment planning systems with Helios™ inverse planning software to enable SmartBeam IMRT to be delivered and the latest VARiS Vision™ data management and electronic records software. An Acuity™ simulator is also being installed, to enable clinicians to plan, set-up and verify treatments without tying up the delivery machine.
“There’s been a considerable push in Italy in recent years to modernize radiotherapy facilities,” says Roberto Biscaldi, managing director of Varian Italy.
“This project will mean there are 17 Varian Clinac accelerators in Rome alone, which means cancer sufferers in the capital of Italy are being offered the most advanced and effective radiotherapy treatments available today. ”
Professor Maurizi Enrici said the future for the clinic could involve a migration to Varian’s Image-Guided Radiation Therapy technology, which enables clinicians to track the movement of tumours and adjust patient positioning accordingly at the time of treatment.
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