Cancer Treatment Services of Casa Grande, Arizona, Begins Treating Cancer Patients Using Fast, Precise RapidArc™ Radiotherapy Technology | Varian

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Cancer Treatment Services of Casa Grande, Arizona, Begins Treating Cancer Patients Using Fast, Precise RapidArc™ Radiotherapy Technology

73-Year Old Prostate Cancer Patient Benefits From Speedy New Treatment

PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Doctors at the Cancer Treatment Services in Casa Grande, Arizona, has begun treating cancer patients with a faster and more precise form of radiotherapy. Ulysses Sharp, 73, a heavy equipment operator and mechanic battling prostate cancer, is among the first patients in Arizona to benefit from the RapidArc™ radiotherapy technology developed by Varian Medical Systems of Palo Alto, California. RapidArc delivers image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster than is possible with earlier radiotherapy technologies.

"Treating a prostate cancer patient with conventional IMRT can take between 15 to 30 minutes a day," said Ajay Bhatnagar, MD, the Cancer Treatment Services physician in charge of Ulysses' case. "I've been pleased to find that, with RapidArc, we can complete Ulysses' daily treatment sessions in just 90 seconds once he has been positioned for treatment."

"My daily treatments take hardly any time at all," said Sharp, who turns 74 this month. "I'm on the treatment table by 8 o'clock each morning, and by about 8:20 I'm getting in my truck and driving off to work."

In addition to being more convenient for the patient, faster treatments have the potential to improve the precision of dose delivery by minimizing the effects of tumor motion during treatment. Treatment planning comparisons show that in many cases, RapidArc plans are better than conventional fixed-beam plans at concentrating radiation closely on the tumor and reducing the dose to surrounding tissues and organs. Other laboratory studies suggest that faster treatments can lead to a higher cancer cell kill rate.

The speed and accuracy of RapidArc treatments will make it possible for Cancer Treatment Services to offer high-quality cancer care to more patients in the course of a day, according to Dr. Bhatnagar.

RapidArc radiotherapy technology has now been used for the treatment of prostate, head and neck, lung, brain, spine, bone, gynecological, and soft tissue cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that, in 2008 there will be 186,320 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States, with over 3,600 of those occurring in Arizona.

About Cancer Treatment Services Arizona

Cancer Treatment Services Arizona (CTSA) is a new state-of-the-art, full-service outpatient cancer treatment center that provides patients university-level care in a community setting. CTSA's physicians and clinical staff have access to cutting-edge protocols that integrate medical and radiation oncology services thereby offering patients a full range of the latest treatment options available. CTSA offers patients superior care through advanced conformal therapies, HDR and brachytherapy capabilities, IMRT and IGRT treatment modalities, in-house and remote treatment planning, radiosurgery expertise and comprehensive chemotherapy protocol development. In addition, CTSA is the first and only facility in Arizona to offer RapidArc™, the latest technology from Varian Medical Systems, exemplifying CTSA's continual strive and commitment to offering patients the most advanced cancer care. For further information, please visit our website at

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

    John Worlton, Varian Medical Systems
    650-424-6438 or

SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems

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