AHMEDABAD, Gujarat, India, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cancer patients in the Indian state of Gujarat can now receive state-of-the-art image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) treatments using equipment from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), with the opening of a new radiation oncology center at Apollo Hospital, Ahmedabad. On Thursday, August 24, clinicians delivered the first IGRT treatment at the center to a prostate cancer patient in his 70s.
The new facility was established through an alliance between the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC) of Bakersfield, California, USA, and Apollo Hospital Groups, one of the largest healthcare groups in South and South East Asia.
The CBCC facility at Apollo Hospital is the first treatment center in India to offer IGRT using a treatment system that combines imaging and treatment technologies on a single machine. Radiation is delivered using Varian's Clinac® iX linear accelerator equipped with an On-Board Imager™ device for imaging and tumor tracking.
"This is a great moment for cancer care in India," said Gitesh Patel, CBCC's vice president for business development. "We are offering Indian cancer patients the same standards of care that we offer to our patients in the U.S. That meant outfitting the Indian center with Varian's cutting edge technology for efficient delivery of accurate and precise image-guided radiation therapy treatments," said Ravi Patel, MD, founder of CBCC.
According to Vivek Bansal, MD, radiation oncologist at Apollo Hospital Ahmedabad, the first patient is continuing treatment with daily radiotherapy sessions administered five days per week over a period of seven weeks. The treatment team uses the On-Board Imager prior to each treatment to precisely locate a set of gold markers that have been implanted into the patient's prostate gland in order to accurately account for any changes in tumor position from day to day.
"The prostate moves around constantly due to normal physiological processes," Bansal said. "With the On-Board Imager, we can detect very small displacements and make appropriate corrections. We use it in radiographic mode to detect the gold marker seeds and reposition the patient, and then we generate a three-dimensional cone-beam CT image to verify the accuracy of our positioning corrections."
The treatment system also incorporates Varian's respiratory gating technology for synchronizing treatment with the patient's normal breathing pattern. This will enable Bansal to treat lung and other tumors that move as the patient breathes. In addition, the center has installed Varian's technology for delivering image-guided brachytherapy -- a way of treating cancer from inside by precisely placing tiny radiation sources in or near a targeted tumor.
"Working together with Apollo Hospitals, we are bringing an array of cancer treatment technologies, resources, and clinical capabilities to the people of Gujarat," said Gitesh Patel, adding that clinicians at the new radiation oncology facility were recruited locally. In addition to their medical training, he said, they have attended educational programs sponsored by Varian Medical Systems at the company's training facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The World Health Organization estimates that in India overall, there are over 800,000 new cases of cancer and nearly 600,000 cancer-related deaths documented each year. "The Varian technology facilitates fast, accurate treatment," Gitesh Patel said. "Despite being one of the most industrialized states in India, Gujarat is afflicted with one of the most alarming cancer incidence rates per 100,000 people. We're going to help a lot of them."
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading manufacturer of medical technology for treating cancer with radiotherapy and neurological conditions with radiosurgery. 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 3,600 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 56 sales and support offices around the world. Additional information is available on the company's web site at http://www.varian.com/ .
About CBCC, USA
CBCC was founded by Dr. Ravi Patel in 1984 with the sole mission of providing compassionate care for the diagnosis, treatment, education and prevention of cancer using a state-of-the-art treatment approach against cancer. Since then the Center has grown to become the number one accrual site for UCLA and Bristol Myers Squibb. "CBCC has enrolled more patients in clinical trials than Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York's large cancer research facility," said Jane Hobbs, clinical research administrator at UCLA (University of Los Angeles, California)-Bakersfield -- Bakersfield Californian News. It was the first center in the globe for Electronic Medical Records by Varian Medical Systems, and put more patients on clinical trial than many top- notch cancer research facilities. CBCC has been a leader in Oncology when it comes to patient care, technology and clinical research. Additional info is available on the company's website at http://www.cbccusa.com/ .
About Apollo Hospitals
Apollo Hospitals, the largest healthcare group in Asia. With over 7,000 beds in 38 hospitals, a string of nursing and hospital management colleges, and dual lifelines of pharmacies and diagnostic clinics providing a safety net across Asia, Apollo Hospitals is a healthcare powerhouse you can trust with your life. Apollo Hospitals is credited with exceptional clinical success rates and superior technology to match the best in the West with centuries-old traditions of Eastern care and warmth. Apollo Hospitals believes that the world is their extended family -- something that their 14 million patients from 55 countries can warmly affirm and by providing patient care beyond compare, they dream of a healthy, happy planet for all.
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