NEW YORK, April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) today is announcing the introduction of a new line of "super" accelerators designed to advance the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, and other types of cancer. The TrueBeam™ platform for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery is the first fully-integrated system designed from the ground up to treat a moving target with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Varian unveiled the new line last night at a special event conducted here for members of the cancer treatment community.
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"We took everything clinicians told us they wanted to enable next-generation treatments, and we challenged ourselves to engineer a completely new treatment platform," said Tim Guertin, president and CEO of Varian Medical Systems. "TrueBeam is the culmination of those efforts."
A TrueBeam system uses a completely re-engineered control system and a multitude of technical innovations to dynamically synchronize imaging, patient positioning, motion management, and treatment delivery. "It opens the door to the development of new and improved approaches for treating cancer and other medical conditions commonly treated with image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery," Guertin said. "We've also given TrueBeam a patient-friendly look with a beautiful sleek design, but it's what's under the covers that makes this system so special. It's intuitive, intelligent, and we think it is a game changer."
Designed to be a versatile platform, a TrueBeam system can be used for all forms of advanced external-beam radiotherapy including image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery (IGRT and IGRS), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and RapidArc® radiotherapy. The product line includes TrueBeam STx, specially configured for advanced radiosurgery.
Faster, More Precise Systems
A TrueBeam system can deliver treatments up to 50 percent faster with a dose delivery rate of up to 2400 monitor units per minute, double the maximum output of earlier, industry-leading Varian systems. This makes it possible to offer greater patient comfort by shortening treatments, and to improve precision by leaving less time for tumor motion during dose delivery.
"Intelligent" automation further speeds treatments with an up to five-fold reduction in the number of steps needed for imaging, positioning and treating patients. A standard intensity-modulated treatment that would typically take ten minutes can be completed in less than two minutes. Complex radiosurgery that typically takes 40 minutes to an hour, can be completed in just 5 to 20 minutes. "When we introduced RapidArc™ radiotherapy, we were thrilled to see treatments done in about 2 minutes," said Guertin. "With TrueBeam, RapidArc treatments can now be completed in about a minute."
The precision of a TrueBeam system is measured in increments of less than a millimeter. This accuracy is made possible by the system's sophisticated architecture, which establishes a new level of synchronization between imaging, patient positioning, motion management, beam shaping, and dose delivery technologies, performing accuracy checks every ten milliseconds throughout an entire treatment. Over 100,000 data points are monitored continually as a treatment progresses, ensuring that the system maintains a "true isocenter," or focal point of treatment.
"This increased level of precision will make it possible for doctors to treat a moving lung tumor as if it were standing still," said Guertin.(1) "By synchronizing treatment with tumor position changes throughout the respiratory cycle, doctors will be able to reduce the margin of healthy tissue affected by the treatment beam."
The TrueBeam system also delivers Varian's new 'gated' RapidArc radiotherapy, which compensates for tumor motion by synchronizing imaging with dose delivery during a continuous rotation around the patient. "This exciting new capability makes RapidArc an even more powerful tool for treating cancers of the thorax, such as lung and liver cancer, when tumor motion is an issue," Guertin said.
Other innovations built in to the TrueBeam system include:
- A streamlined treatment console with a modern, graphical, easy-to-use interface that consolidates all controls for imaging, treatment, and motion management. Treatment processes and workflows are simplified and easy to learn, with prompts, messages, and a "follow the light" guidance system that enhances safety by guiding therapists through the steps of even the most complex treatments. "One button" IGRT enables the therapist to spend more time attending to the patient, and less time managing the technology.
- A newly-designed X-ray tube is optimized for generating high volumes of quality 3-D (cone-beam CT) images.
- These 3-D images can be generated in 60% less time, with a 25% reduction in X-ray dose to the patient.
- A treatment couch that can be positioned with sub-millimeter accuracy in relation to imaging and beam delivery processes.
- A unique new non-clinical Developer Mode designed to facilitate collaboration with Oncology thought leaders interested in pioneering new treatment and imaging techniques.
"With its many new unmatched capabilities, we've created a new breed of accelerator with the versatility to improve conventional treatments and at the same time support the clinical development of treatment innovations that offer patients more options for fighting their disease," said Guertin. "TrueBeam takes us a significant step closer towards our goal of helping to save 100,000 more lives each year."
Some of the motion management tools developed for the new TrueBeam system have been added to Varian's Trilogy platform and are being made available to customers with Clinac® iX accelerators (please see accompanying press release entitled Varian Medical Systems Introduces a New Trilogy® Accelerator with Gated RapidArc® and Advanced Motion Management). "As we develop new capabilities for this system, we'll use what we learn to continually enhance our full line of treatment solutions, ensuring that we can continue to offer the widest spectrum of advanced solutions for meeting our diverse customers' needs," Guertin said.
(1) Underberg Rene WM et al. A dosimetric analysis of respiration-gated radiotherapy in patients with stage III lung cancer. Radiat Oncol. 2006; 1: 8.
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 5,000 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 79 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com.
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Meryl Ginsberg, (650) 424-6444
SOURCE Varian Medical Systems