December 2014 issue of Spot ON | Varian

December 2014 issue of Spot ON

 

 

News from Varian's Particle Therapy Group         December 2014

Welcome to the second issue of "Spot ON," Varian Medical Systems' e-newsletter from Varian's Particle Therapy division. As you may know, Varian has developed the ProBeam® proton therapy system, which integrates scanning beam intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) with advanced technologies for image-guidance and patient positioning. This e-newsletter is intended to offer subscribers the latest news about Varian's proton therapy offerings, including information about new technological developments and system deployments around the world. We welcome your comments and input, and hope that you find this quarterly e-newsletter of interest.

INDEX

The Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego, California, Treats a Broad Range of Tumor Types in First Nine Months

Rinecker Proton Therapy Center Treats 2,000th Patient

Study Suggests Proton Therapy for Breast Cancer Less Costly than Some Alternatives

Pediatric Utilization of Proton Therapy Up Since 2010

The Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego, California, Treats a Broad Range of Tumor Types in First Nine Months

The Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego, California, began treating patients in February 2014. By September, they announced that they had treated tumor sites that included lung, brain, spinal column, base of skull, head and neck, CNS, pancreas, rectum, esophagus, breast (male and female), testis, inter-abdominal lymphoid tissue, thymus gland, bone, and others. Also in September, Varian completed commissioning of all five treatment rooms as well as an upgrade of the ProBeam software to enhance workflow and enable the use of the fixed-beam rooms.

According to Lei Dong, PhD, director and chief of medical physics at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center, one big advantage of Varian's ProBeam system has been the ability to accomplish beam matching between all five treatment rooms. "The Varian system fortunately can do that, and it allows us to move a patient between rooms without re-planning the treatment," he said. "This minimizes the impact of downtime in a given room, and provides us maximum flexibility to accommodate a patient who needs to change the treatment time—we can use a different room if the original room isn't available." Learn more.

Rinecker Proton Therapy Center in Munich Surpasses 2,000 Patient Treatments

Physicians at the Rinecker Proton Therapy Center (RPTC) have treated more than 2,200 patients since the hospital opened in 2009. The center, which is equipped with Varian's pencil beam scanning technology for the delivery of precise intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT), is treating patients in four 360° gantry rooms.

"The benefits of proton therapy are increasingly recognized and used by patients as well as health insurers and physicians in Germany, and we are proud to offer such world-leading technology for our patients," said Dr. Joerg Hauffe, chief executive officer of ProHealth, the center's operating company.

"We believe pencil beam scanning is the best approach for patients because you can more easily and effectively shape the dose distribution as necessary and lessen exposure to critical organs such as the spinal cord, which is difficult to achieve using the standard scattering proton technique employed by most other proton centers," added Dr. Hauffe.

RPTC offers treatments for a wide range of tumors and has welcomed patients from 47 different countries in the five years it has been operational. More information can be found at the RPTC website.

ProBeam Dynamic Peak™ scanning provides precise homogeneous dose distribution at a +/1 1.5% level.
— Orboeck J, Bach M, Wegner M.

Learn more about calibrating a Dynamic Peak™ scanning system.

Study Suggests Proton Therapy for Breast Cancer Less Costly than Some Alternatives

In October, a research team from the University of Texas MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center announced that proton therapy may be less costly than other radiotherapy techniques for treating early stage breast cancer with accelerated partial breast irradiation. Their data, which used Medicare reimbursement codes to analyze allowable charges for eight different types of partial and whole breast irradiation therapies and treatment schedules, were presented at the inaugural North America meeting of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG). Read announcement.

Pediatric Utilization of Proton Therapy Up Since 2010

The Pediatric Proton Foundation and the National Association for Proton Therapy recently reported that the number of children being treated with proton therapy in the United States has increased by 33 percent since 2010. Their report, published in the Fall issue of the International Journal of Particle Therapy, concludes that this trend is "consistent with the international perception that pediatric patients derive a relative benefit from this rare technology." The average patient is a child who is less than 10 years old with a curable brain tumor or axial sarcoma. Learn more.