Varian Medical Systems Highlights Calypso® System and Other Technologies Designed to Help Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease after Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer | Varian

Varian Medical Systems Highlights Calypso® System and Other Technologies Designed to Help Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease after Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 28, 2013 /fr/PRNewswire/fr/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR), the world leader in radiotherapy equipment and software, is highlighting its Calypso® System as a tool designed to help doctors reduce women's risk of developing heart disease years after treatment for breast cancer.  The system uses GPS for the Body® technology to help minimize exposure of the heart during treatment for breast cancer.

"We use the Calypso System for real-time motion tracking along with a special breath-hold technique," says L. Christine Fang, MD, assistant professor of radiation oncology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, University of Washington.  "In this way, we can more accurately deliver adequate doses that we feel are necessary to reduce the chance of tumor recurrence.  All women with left-sided breast cancer are evaluated for this approach to decrease radiation exposure to the heart."

The Calypso System utilizes a set of tiny transmitters that are temporarily affixed to the skin near the middle of the patient's chest and then tracked continuously throughout a treatment session.  Patients are coached in advance to take a deep breath and hold it at specified times during treatment, which expands the chest and pushes the breast away from the heart.  The radiation therapist delivers treatment only when the transmitters show that the patient's anatomy is in the correct position and the heart is not in the path of the beam.

According to Mark Logsdon, M.D., radiation oncologist with the Radiological Associates of Sacramento Medical Group, radiation saves lives.  "A large-scale meta-analysis of studies involving more than 10,000 women showed that, with surgery alone, breast cancer patients have up to twice the risk of recurrence within ten years, as compared with those who do receive radiotherapy.1,2  We want to give our patients the best possible shot at staying cancer free.  By using a heart-sparing technology like the Calypso system, we can also decrease the already small chances of their having heart problems in the future."

"The Calypso System is one of several technologies that Varian offers to help minimize women's risk of radiotherapy related heart disease," says Chris Toth, vice president of marketing for Varian's Oncology Systems business.  Other important tools, which are often used together, include: