HUMACAO, Puerto Rico, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Late last year, the Insituto de Radioterapia Del Este (IRE), a new cancer treatment center, installed a Trilogy® system for image-guided radiotherapy from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) and became one of the first Caribbean cancer treatment centers to offer cancer patients RapidArc® treatments. RapidArc is a fast, precise form of image-guided treatment that is delivered two to eight times faster than is possible with similar radiotherapy technologies. By delivering radiation doses more quickly and with great accuracy, IRE clinicians can simultaneously shorten treatments while improving the quality of care.
"We're very pleased to offer technologically advanced treatments to patients in Puerto Rico," said Carlos Remedios, M.D., president of IRE. "Within two months of installation, we were delivering 25 patient treatments per day on the new Trilogy system, including RapidArc treatments."
RapidArc is an image-guided treatment that can take as little as 90 seconds to deliver once a patient has been positioned for treatment. During a RapidArc treatment session the radiation beam is continually shaped and reshaped to match the contours of the tumor from every angle as the treatment machine completes one or more rotations around the patient.
"Using RapidArc, we can deliver a very concentrated dose to a tumor while minimizing exposure of the surrounding healthy tissues, in about a quarter of the time required for other forms of treatment," Dr. Remedios said.
The majority of patients treated at IRE are prostate cancer patients. The prostate is an organ that shifts within the body due to normal physiological processes, so its position can vary from day to day and even moment to moment. "The Trilogy system's image-guidance capabilities are of the utmost importance because they enable the clinical staff to pinpoint the location of the prostate and confirm they have the correct targeting immediately prior to every treatment," said Dr. Remedios. "Studies have shown that, for prostate cancer, the probability of tumor control goes up with higher doses, but so does toxicity, if those high doses also reach the bladder or the rectum. This technology can improve outcomes by delivering more powerful radiation doses to the tumors while doing a better job of minimizing exposure of surrounding healthy tissue, like the bladder and the rectum."
Dr. Remedios is also enthusiastic about the 3-D imaging capability that comes with the Trilogy system, for taking scans of the targeted area while the patient is in the treatment position. "This allows careful soft tissue image matching for precise patient positioning," he said.
Plans are to use the new Trilogy machine at IRE for a full spectrum of treatments, including cancer of the prostate, breast, brain, lung, reproductive organs, bladder, esophagus, and other organs. "We will add new indications as we gain experience with the technology," Dr. Remedios said.
Varian has been equipping cancer treatment centers in Puerto Rico since 1993. Seventeen Varian radiotherapy treatment machines are now in use to treat patients in Puerto Rico.
About Instituto de Radioterapia del Este
Instituto de Radioterapia del Este in Humacao, Puerto Rico, is a new treatment center setting an example by starting with a well-trained and properly credentialed clinical staff, and equipping them with state-of-the-art treatment technology so that cancer patients can benefit from both.
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, 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 5,700 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems