WATERFORD, Ireland, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Prime Minister of Ireland -- the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern -- today officially dedicated the state-of-the-art Whitfield Clinic in Waterford, a major new facility that incorporates the country's first cancer center to offer advanced image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) treatments.
The UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre houses a Varian Clinac® linear accelerator equipped with the country's first On-Board Imager®, enabling advanced image-guided treatments which better target the tumor and protect healthy surrounding tissue. A second linear accelerator will be installed next month.
The cancer center addresses the great need for radiotherapy services in the southeast region of Ireland. Prior to its arrival, cancer patients in the region were faced with more than two hours travelling time to the nearest radiotherapy centers in Dublin or Cork.
Dr. Dayle Hacking, chief radiation oncologist at the Whitfield Cancer Centre, said, "This splendid new facility will make a huge difference to cancer patients in the southeast of Ireland. This region has been crying out for its own dedicated radiotherapy resource and we now have something that is both local and offers state-of-the-art advanced treatments to improve cancer care."
The UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre will also offer intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) using the Varian equipment and software. IMRT enables clinicians to improve the effectiveness of treatment and minimize complications by matching the shape of the radiotherapy beams to the shape of the tumor. The modern center will also enhance patient care by using new software from Varian for planning sophisticated treatments, keeping electronic medical records, processing images and managing clinical processes and operations.
David Scott, Varian's UK & Ireland Sales Manager, adds, "This is a wonderful new resource for cancer patients in the Southeast Ireland and Varian is delighted to have been selected to equip the center with advanced cancer treatment machines and software.
"More than half the Irish population has private health insurance and, as the leading supplier to Irish private health centers as well as PPP (public private partnership) projects in Ireland and the UK, Varian is proud to be a part of this project."
Varian's On-Board Imager makes it possible for clinicians to image and treat on a single machine that rotates around the patient to take X-ray images and deliver treatments from virtually any angle. Mounted on the medical linear accelerator, the On-Board Imager device produces high-resolution images of the tumor and tracks changes in tumor shape, size or position over a multi- week course of treatment. It also enables clinicians to track and adjust for tumor motion caused by the patient's breathing. Any adjustments to the patient's position can be carried out by a radiation therapist entirely from outside the treatment room, allowing for fast, automated image-guided radiotherapy.
Prior to the advent of image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), radiation oncologists had to contend with variations in patient positioning and with respiratory motion by treating a relatively large margin of healthy tissue around the tumor. IGRT enables doctors to minimize the volume of healthy tissue exposed to the treatment beam. Potentially, image data from IGRT tools like the On-Board Imager device will be used to note changes in tumor size and shape over a course of treatment, and make real-time adaptations to the treatment plan.
There are more than 5,800 radiotherapy centers worldwide, and Varian equips 60 percent of these with its integrated and automated radiotherapy systems. The market and technology leader in image-guided radiotherapy, Varian has installed more than 250 On-Board Imager systems to date around the world.
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading manufacturer of medical technology for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, brachytherapy, and radiosurgery. The company is also a premier supplier of X-ray tubes and digital image detectors for imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications. The company's high-energy imaging systems are also used for screening cargo. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 3,600 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 56 sales and support offices around the world. In Europe, the company operates manufacturing and engineering centers in Baden (Switzerland), Crawley (England), Haan (Germany), Helsinki (Finland) and Toulouse (France) and has headquarters for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEA) based in Zug, Switzerland. Additional information is available on the company's web site at http://www.varian.com/
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CONTACT: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
CONTACT: Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068 or
Web site: http://www.varian.com/