BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., June 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Center for Radiation Therapy of Beverly Hills became the first medical center in California yesterday to commence treating cancer patients with a revolutionary new technique utilizing RapidArc™ radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR).
A 77-year-old man with glioblastoma multiforme, a form of brain cancer, was the first to receive a two-minute RapidArc treatment at the center. "This patient was an ideal candidate, because RapidArc targets cancerous regions and limits the amount of dose reaching the surrounding healthy tissues," said Henry Yampolsky, MD, radiation oncologist. "We always want to avoid hitting healthy tissues, and that was especially important for this particular patient because the tumor is very close to the optic chiasm and brainstem-two critical areas that need to be protected."
In addition, Dr. Yampolsky said that his patient is extremely claustrophobic and has a fear of lying flat, so conventional treatments, which take up to 20 minutes, have been hard for him to tolerate. "Using RapidArc, we were able to complete the treatment in less than four minutes, significantly reducing the amount of time that the patient had to spend on the table."
RapidArc delivers an advanced image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT or helical tomotherapy.
Prior to each treatment, special imaging technology is used to pinpoint the targeted tumor and line it up so that the radiation is delivered precisely and accurately. Once the patient is properly positioned, the actual treatments are typically delivered in less than two minutes with just a single 360 degree rotation of the treatment machine around the patient.
Yampolsky points out that the speed of a RapidArc treatment is important, both for patient comfort and convenience, and also for treatment quality. "Patients are less likely to move during a treatment that takes less time, which can improve the accuracy of the treatment," he said. "Over a course of therapy, which typically lasts several weeks with treatments given Monday through Friday, the amount of time saved is considerable."
"We are committed to being on the leading edge, in terms of our technology and providing patients with the highest standards of care," said Steven Elconin, executive director. "Our radiation oncologists determined that RapidArc technology would lead to quicker treatment times and greater patient comfort, and those are some of the benefits we want to provide for our patients."
"About 1.4 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year," said Christopher Rose, MD, radiation oncologist with the Center. "Over their lifetimes, one in three women and every other man will develop cancer. Nearly two-thirds will receive radiation therapy as part of their treatment. That adds up to about 23.4 million radiation therapy treatment visits per year. If a technology like RapidArc enables us to help even a fraction of these patients quickly and with high levels of accuracy, it will make a big difference to their quality of life, both during the treatment and, for many patients, long after treatments are over."
About The Center for Radiation Therapy of Beverly Hills
Situated in the heart of Los Angeles, The Center for Radiation Therapy is one of the foremost radiation oncology centers in California. Staffed by nationally renowned oncologists, equipped with the most advanced technology available and designed as a patient-centric facility, The Center has established a new standard for clinical expertise and conscientious patient care. The Center is one of the first facilities in the U.S. to offer RapidArc™ radiotherapy, the newest approach in providing a fast, precise cancer treatment. The Center maintains a paperless records system for efficient documentation and treatment coordination. The gracefully appointed facility was designed to create a comfortable and convenient setting for patients. Comprehensive medical and psychosocial patient support completes the nurturing treatment environment. For more information, visit http://www.rtbh.net/.
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 4,600 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 http://www.varian.com/.
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Meryl Ginsberg, Varian Medical Systems 650-424-6444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems
CONTACT: Meryl Ginsberg of Varian Medical Systems, +1-650-424-6444,