PALO ALTO, Calif., July 23, 2004 Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) today introduced several new capabilities within its Eclipse™ 3D radiotherapy treatment planning software, including automatic compensation for variations in tissue thickness and the ability to combine multiple targets within a single plan. Eclipse also now supports inverse planning of IMRT treatments with linear accelerators from other suppliers.
“Eclipse plans have long been seamlessly integrated for delivering both “step and shoot” and dynamic “sliding window” treatments using Varian’s Clinac® accelerators,” said Jeff Amacker, business manager for treatment planning products in Varian’s Oncology Systems unit. “Now, Eclipse plans also can be exported to other manufacturers’ accelerators, to deliver treatments according to those machines’ capabilities.”
Improved Breast Cancer Planning
An important new feature enables Eclipse users to automatically compensate for variability in tissue thickness in areas of the body such as the breast. Until now, it could be time-consuming to develop plans that avoided creating “hot spots,” which sometimes occurred where tissues were thinnest. The software now offers “field in field” and “electronic surface compensator” capabilities that make it easier to avoid creating “hot spots” and to deliver radiation doses more uniformly throughout the target area. In addition, a new multiple-prescription plan feature enables clinicians to develop plans for delivering different dose prescriptions to different target areas within a single treatment, instead of having to prepare separate plans for different areas.
“For example, in a typical breast cancer treatment, doctors want to deliver one dose to the breast tissue, and an entirely different dose to the lymph nodes,” said Robin Reddick, PhD, treatment planning product manager for Varian. “With this capability, they can take care of both areas with one treatment plan.The software displays the planned dose distribution, including areas where treatment fields overlap so that clinicians can easily see and adjust the plan as needed.”
“The goal is to continue offering clinicians an ever widening range of options for treating most forms of cancer,” Amacker added. “Eclipse now provides greater versatility for customizing the treatment according to the specifics of any case.”
“Eclipse has emerged as the industry’s leading program for planning the most advanced forms of radiation therapy quickly and efficiently,” Reddick said. “These new tools extend Eclipse’s functionality even further, making it faster to create high quality treatment plans that result in fewer complications or side effects for patients.”
The new Eclipse features will be on display at the upcoming American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from July 25 to 29, 2004.