Melbourne, Australia, November 30th 2015 – Clinicians in Melbourne have commenced advanced radiotherapy treatments for prostate cancer using a real-time tumor tracking system from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). Epworth HealthCare, the largest not-for-profit private hospital group in Victoria, has become the first care provider in Australia to utilize Varian’s Calypso® transponders to enhance precision during image-guided radiotherapy treatments as standard of care.
“The Calypso system gives us information about internal movement of the prostate during treatment that we’ve never had before,” says Anne Perkins, senior medical physicist at Epworth HealthCare. “Reviewing the data for the first five patients we treated shows that the prostate moved outside the limits specified by the radiation oncologist on 20 percent of the treatment visits. The Calypso system can automatically turn off the radiation beam until the prostate returns to its planned position and if necessary radiation therapists can move the treatment couch to reposition the patient before resuming treatment. More than 25 patients have now been treated with Calypso at Epworth.”
“Calypso is a user-friendly system that gives us precise real-time information about the location of the prostate during treatment. Before we had Calypso, we relied on x-ray imaging to determine that our patients were in the correct position for treatment. Calypso is proving to be at least as accurate as x-ray imaging and has the advantage of providing continuous information during treatment, rather than just a snapshot in time.”
Dr. Pat Bowden, Epworth HealthCare’s director of radiation oncology, adds, “The Calypso system enables us to reduce margins for our prostate cancer patients, with an expectation this will reduce long-term toxicity. With Calypso, we feel we are providing our patients with the most advanced radiotherapy treatment techniques available.”
Calypso continuously pinpoints the location of a tumor similar to the way that GPS works in navigation system for cars. The prostate is not a stationary target. It can shift by as much as several millimeters during a radiotherapy treatment session.
Epworth HealthCare provides advanced radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatments using four Varian linear accelerators, including a state-of-the-art TrueBeam™ STx system installed in February this year. Doctors at the center are planning to introduce Calypso-guided treatments for patients with lung and gastro-intestinal cancers, as well as surface tracking beacons for DIBH (deep inspiration breath hold) breast treatments. It is estimated there will be 128,000 new cancer cases diagnosed in Australia this year and this number is expected to rise to 150,000 by 2020.
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, focuses energy on saving lives by equipping the world with advanced technology for fighting cancer and for x-ray imaging. The company is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiation. The company provides comprehensive solutions for radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is also a premier supplier of x-ray imaging components, including tubes, digital detectors, and image processing software and workstations for use in medical, scientific, and industrial settings, as well as for security and non-destructive testing. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 7,000 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 www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.
More information on Epworth HealthCare can be found at www.epworth.org.au