WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Dec. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --Clinicians at one of New Zealand's leading hospitals have delivered more than 300 radiotherapy treatments using a newly-installed TrueBeam™ device in the first month of its implementation. The TrueBeam system from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) adds to Wellington Hospital's radiotherapy capabilities and enables fast, precise and efficient treatments.
The first patient in the country – and the southern hemisphere -- to be treated using the TrueBeam device was an 18-year-old man with Hodgkin's disease. "He commented on the speed with which the treatment was delivered and was enthusiastic to be our first patient treated on TrueBeam," says Jennifer de Ridder, radiation therapist team leader at Wellington Hospital. "Many of our patients have commented on the speed of their treatments, which is a significant factor for those who are immobilized during treatment."
To manage treatment waiting times in New Zealand, the government recently introduced a target that all patients should commence radiotherapy within four weeks of a decision to treat. "We usually meet this target but need to be more efficient to continue meeting it in future," says Carole Johnson, clinical leader of radiation oncology. "So more advanced treatment techniques must be incorporated without making treatment slots longer and without impacting our ability to meet this waiting time target. TrueBeam helps us to achieve this."
The TrueBeam device at Wellington replaces a 14-year-old treatment machine and enables the hospital to expand its range of radiotherapy treatments, which includes intensity modulated radiotherapy, image-guided radiotherapy, RapidArc® volumetric radiotherapy and, in the future, stereotactic radiotherapy.
Designed to improve the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, and other types of cancer, the TrueBeam platform for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery is a fully-integrated radiotherapy system designed from the ground up to treat a moving target with speed and precision. It features a High Intensity Mode—one of six dose levels available to doctors—for customizing dose delivery based on a patient's specific tumor characteristics.
"In addition to improving workflow at the hospital, TrueBeam will enable us to introduce stereotactic body radiotherapy treatments for selected patients in 2012," says Lynne Greig, chief medical physicist. "It clearly positions us for the future while integrating easily with our existing suite of equipment."
Wellington Hospital treats 1300 patients each year, providing external beam and high dose rate brachytherapy radiation treatments using Varian equipment and software. It is one of just eight radiotherapy departments in the country.
Chris Cowley, Varian's regional director, says, "This hospital has made a clear commitment to offer its patients more advanced radiotherapy treatments while being mindful of the need to keep down waiting times. TrueBeam meets these needs and we are delighted to be working closely with Wellington Hospital to help them achieve their aims."
Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068
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, 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 5,700 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 http://www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.
SOURCE Varian Medical Systems