VALENCIA, Venezuela — August 21, 2013 — Radioterapia Cabriales in Valencia, Venezuela, has completed installation of a Trilogy® system for image-guided radiotherapy, and is now offering cancer patients advanced treatments like RapidArc® radiotherapy, which is a fast, precise way of targeting tumors while minimizing exposure of surrounding healthy tissues. A 54-year-old man with prostate cancer was the first patient to benefit from the new technology, which was provided by Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR).
“With the new Trilogy system, we can offer cancer patients a broad spectrum of advanced radiotherapy treatments, including intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), RapidArc, and even radiosurgery,” says Dr. Fabio de Lima, head of radiation oncology at Radioterapia Cabriales. “Prior to April, we were limited to offering 3-D conformal radiotherapy, which was a big advance in its time, but has since been eclipsed by these more precise approaches that spare more healthy tissues.”
RapidArc treatments for prostate cancer are carefully planned based on each patient’s unique diagnostic images, to minimize the dose to the rectum, bladder, and other sensitive organs adjacent to the prostate. “The goal, in addition to controlling, shrinking, or eradicating tumors, is to minimize side effects so that cancer survivors can enjoy an excellent quality of life once treatments are over,” says Dr. de Lima.
During a RapidArc treatment session the radiation beam is continually shaped and reshaped to match the shape of the tumor from every angle as the treatment machine completes one or more rotations around the patient. Each treatment can take as little as 90 seconds to complete once a patient has been carefully positioned. “Using RapidArc, we can complete these treatments in about a quarter of the time required for other forms of treatment,” Dr. de Lima says. “Faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery. Shorter treatments also reduce the amount of time that patients are immobilized on the treatment table.”
Faster treatments can also improve patient access to care. Studies1,2,3 from around the world are showing that the use of RapidArc radiotherapy, when appropriate, can enable a cancer center to treat more patients—a major advantage in settings where patient access to care is an important issue.
In addition to RapidArc technology, the Trilogy system incorporates sophisticated, computer-controlled image-guidance tools that enable the clinical staff to pinpoint the location of a tumor and confirm they have the correct targeting immediately prior to each treatment session. They can also monitor and compensate for any tumor motion that occurs during treatment.
“This is our second Trilogy machine in the country of Venezuela,” says Dr. de Lima. “We installed one (when) at our facility in La Trinidad, and have found it to be one of the most versatile and sophisticated radiotherapy machines available, allowing us to offer many different types of treatment with the high levels of precision that our patients want and deserve.”
The clinical team at Radioterapia Cabriales is gearing up to launch a radiosurgery program in the near future. Unlike traditional radiotherapy, which often requires six to seven weeks of daily treatments, radiosurgery treatments are delivered in just one to five treatment sessions.
“Studies have shown that some types of cancer are better treated using radiosurgery,” said Dr. de Lima. “It’s an ideal approach for treating certain types of inoperable lung cancer, for example, or tumors of the brain or spine. Our Trilogy system is outfitted with all the imaging, beam shaping, high dose delivery, and motion management tools that are needed for radiosurgery. We anticipate launching our radiosurgery program in the next four to ten months.”
Note to editors: A high resolution image of the Trilogy system delivering a RapidArc treatment is available online here: http://varian.mediaroom.com/image/RapidArc.jpg.
1Matuszak MM et al. Clinical Applications of Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2010, 77:608-616.
2Verbakel WF et al. Volumetric intensity-modulated arc therapy vs. conventional IMRT in head-and-neck cancer: a comparative planning and dosimetric study. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2009, 74:252-259.
3 Wagner D et al Radiotherapy of malignant gliomas: comparison of volumetric single arc technique (RapidArc), dynamic intensity-modulated technique and 3D conformal technique. Radiother Oncol 2009, 93:593-596
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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, digital detectors, and image processing workstations for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,000 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.
About Radioterapia Cabriales
Radioterapia Cabriales was established in 2004, when it acquired a Clinac® 2100 treatment machine from Varian Medical Systems and used it to offer 3-D conformal radiotherapy for patients that came from across Venezuela as well as from other countries. Over 3,700 cancer patients have now received cancer treatment at the center. Over 60 have been treated using the new Trilogy system since it was installed in April 2013.