HELSINKI, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cancer patients in Finland have gained access to more advanced treatments with the introduction of RapidArc® radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) at the only private radiotherapy clinic in the Nordic region. Clinicians at Docrates Clinic in Helsinki are using this fast and precise form of radiotherapy to treat patients with multiple brain metastases and cancers of the abdomen and prostate.
RapidArc, which enables clinicians to deliver a highly-precise image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy treatment in as little as one or two revolutions of the treatment machine around the patient, has been delivered using two Varian Clinac iX medical linear accelerators since the summer at Docrates Clinic.
"We have treated thirty prostate patients with RapidArc to date and it has achieved excellent dose coverage with low dose to nearby critical organs and healthy tissue," says Timo Kiljunen, medical physicist. "RapidArc is used routinely where pelvic lymph nodes are treated simultaneously with lower daily dose than the prostate and we also use it for metastatic and primary cancers in the abdominal region, such as liver and pancreatic cancers."
Chief oncologist Mauri Kouri, adds, "RapidArc has been very helpful in treating multiple brain metastases. In one case, four separate brain metastases were treated with two arcs and total irradiated high dose volume was estimated to be a third of that with conventional dynamic arc treatments." Dr. Kouri said RapidArc has enabled his team to introduce a new treatment model for head and multiple brain tumor treatments, sparing the hippocampus areas in prophylactic radiotherapy. "Sparing the hippocampus has been proven to reduce the effects on the patient's memory," said Dr. Kouri.
Faster treatments such as those enabled by using RapidArc technology allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery and, with less time on the treatment couch, also allow for greater patient comfort. Conventional intensity modulated treatments are slower and more difficult for radiotherapy radiographers because they target tumors using a complex sequence of fixed beams from multiple angles.
"We are delighted to be working closely with Docrates Clinic to bring fast and precise RapidArc radiotherapy technology to Finnish cancer patients for the first time," said Sten Hornsleth, Varian's Scandinavian country manager. "The speed and efficiency of RapidArc means more patients can gain access to advanced image-guided IMRT treatments while having to spend less time on the treatment couch."
Docrates Clinic, a comprehensive cancer clinic which opened in October 2007, is the only private radiotherapy center in the Nordic region. It treats around 900 cancer patients per year in an outpatient clinic setting. Over 26,000 Finns were diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and this is expected to increase to over 30,000 by 2015, translating to an increase of nearly 20%.
Editorial contacts: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068 and Marja Konttinen, Docrates Clinic, + 358 50 500 1838
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 5,100 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, China, and Europe and in its 79 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/
About Docrates Clinic
Docrates is a private clinic that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of cancer. The patient has access to examinations and treatments without delay. The central goal is to guarantee the quality of life of the patient. Docrates Clinic works in co-operation with the pharmaceutical and the biomedical equipment manufacturers in research and development. This co-operation enables Docrates to utilize the newest medications and methods at the right time, for the benefit of patients. www.docrates.com
SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.