GHENT, Belgium, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ghent University Hospital in Belgium, among the first hospitals in the world to pioneer radiotherapy treatments using arc radiotherapy, is acquiring RapidArc technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) for fast and efficient modulated arc therapy treatments for an increasing number of cancer patients.
The hospital, which has developed its own intensity modulated arc therapy (IMAT) planning system, has carried out such treatments on prostate and gynaecological cancer patients for several years with impressive results in tumor control and reduced complications. There are now plans to extend such treatments to other sites.
"The problem is that using our own system, it takes half an hour to deliver treatments, even longer if we use image-guided radiotherapy," says Professor Marc van Eijkeren, head of Ghent University Hospital's Department of Radiation Oncology. "Our normal radiotherapy treatment slots are ten minutes so it means we take up three slots to deliver one arc therapy treatment, placing a big strain on our busy department."
"As more and more patients are becoming eligible for these treatments and patient referrals for arc therapy increase, we knew we needed to find a solution that allowed our patients to have these advanced treatments without causing a backlog. We are convinced that RapidArc is the only commercial system available at the moment that can deliver these treatments in such a short time."
Professor van Eijkeren says his hospital's long history with advanced techniques such as IMAT and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) comes from its goal of gaining greater tumor control and fewer side effects. Ghent University Hospital serves more than 1.5 million people in the northern regions of Belgium. The Clinac® iX equipped with Varian's RapidArc technology is due to be installed at the hospital in October and RapidArc treatments are planned to commence in spring 2009.
"Partnering with Ghent University Hospital gives us a fantastic opportunity to offer our commercially available RapidArc technology to a hospital that is unique in its long experience in volumetric intensity modulated arc treatments," says Vincent Ronfle, Varian's regional sales manager. "This collaboration will be very helpful in understanding the present and future applications of this technology to achieve improved clinical outcomes for patients."
RapidArc delivers a volumetric intensity-modulated radiation therapy treatment in a single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver advanced image-guided IMRT two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. Unrelated clinical studies on radiotherapy correlate the ability to spare more healthy tissue with reduced complications and better outcomes.
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, proton therapy, 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 4,800 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 60 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/.
SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
CONTACT: Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068
Web site: http://www.varian.com/