GAINESVILLE, Fla., July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Eight patients ranging in age from 21 to 69 were the first people in the world to be treated on a new, ultra-precise machine for non-invasive, image-guided radiosurgery (IGRS) at Shands at the University of Florida. A leading neurosurgery team of UF faculty physicians at Shands used the new Trilogy Tx™ medical linear accelerator from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) to treat three men and five women for conditions that included arteriovenous malformations, acoustic schwannomas, meningioma, and metastatic brain tumors.
Image-guided radiosurgery (IGRS) involves delivering precisely focused, high-energy radiation to a localized area in a single treatment session to destroy malignant or non-malignant tumors or to make other medical repairs that cannot be addressed by conventional surgery.
"Trilogy is the first machine that is engineered for delivering these types of treatments," said Frank Bova, PhD, UF College of Medicine professor of neurosurgery, who collaborated with William A. Friedman, MD, UF College of Medicine chairman and professor of neurosurgery, to deliver the treatments. "It is an order of magnitude more accurate than our previous machine. It allows us to target with much more confidence, to reduce our treatment margins, to get closer to critical structures near the target and know that we'll be able to avoid them."
"The Trilogy Tx has eclipsed other technologies for delivering radiosurgery in the treatment of neurological disorders," said Friedman, who has treated thousands of patients with radiosurgery since 1988 and whose team contributed to the development of the new faster and more accurate treatment technology. "The Trilogy is more versatile, and it offers us an incredible dose rate, so these treatments go much faster than they did before," Friedman said.
Better targeting technology and shorter treatment times to improve patient comfort were major objectives for the medical team.
"As expected, the treatment times varied with the complexity of the cases. We were able to complete some of the simpler treatments in just seven minutes," Bova said. "If you include the time spent getting the patient into position and performing final checks, these treatments required only fifteen minutes. Similar treatments would often take 30-45 minutes, using older technology. That's a long time to lie still for treatment."
"We have long been convinced that linear accelerator (linac) technology would be the wave of the future for neurosurgery. Linac-based radiosurgery has come to full maturity with the Trilogy Tx," said Friedman, adding that the first day of neurosurgery treatments on the Trilogy Tx machine went exceptionally well. "We're very pleased," he said. "We find we can control 95 percent of acoustic schwannomas and meningiomas, 80-90 percent of the arteriovenous malformations, and 90 percent of the brain metastases we treat in this way. So we have every reason to expect excellent results for these patients."
ABOUT THE NEUROSURGERY DEPARTMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
The University of Florida Department of Neurosurgery offers a full range of neurosurgical services. Through the Shands at the University of Florida academic medical center in Gainesville and the Gainesville VA Medical Center, the department offers services in cerebrovascular surgery, radiosurgery, epilepsy treatment, spine and spinal cord surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, brain tumor surgery and the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm. Researchers in the department also work to develop new and better treatments for neurosurgical disorders through clinical and basic research at the University of Florida McKnight Brain Institute.
ABOUT SHANDS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Shands at the University of Florida is one of Shands HealthCare's two academic medical centers, and it is the state's leading referral center. More than 550 UF faculty physicians work alongside highly skilled nurses and hospital staff to provide specialized, complex medical care in more than 100 specialty areas. Centers of excellence include neurological, cancer, cardiovascular, pediatric and transplant care. Shands at UF is ranked annually as a U.S.News & World Report "Best Hospital" in several specialties.
ABOUT VARIAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS
Varian Medical Systems, Inc. of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading manufacturer of integrated cancer therapy systems, which are treating thousands of patients per day. The company is also a premier supplier of X-ray tubes and flat-panel digital subsystems for imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 3,300 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 55 sales and support offices around the world. Additional information is available on the company's investor relations web site at http://www.varian.com/ .
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Varian Medical Systems Meryl Ginsberg 650-424-6444 firstname.lastname@example.org Shands HealthCare Sarah Templeton 352-265-0373 or 800-535-0373 email@example.com
SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
Web site: http://www.varian.com/