LONDON, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- One of the UK's leading radiotherapy centers has increased its capacity to offer state-of-the-art cancer combating techniques to patients in London and the south east of England. Two On-Board Imager™ devices for 3D Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) are among the newly-installed Varian Medical Systems equipment at the new University College Hospital in Euston Road.
The UCH is part of a 422 million pounds Sterling, two-phased building project and combines the services of three hospitals including the former Middlesex Hospital, the former UCH and the in-patient facility at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases. Following the recent relocation of the radiotherapy unit from the Middlesex to the new UCH, the department is increasing its treatment machines from four to seven and investing in new technology to keep pace with rapid advancements in radiation therapy capabilities.
Among this increased capacity are four new Varian Clinac® linear accelerators, two of them funded by the UK Department of Health and two procured by the UCLH NHS Foundation Trust. The new hospital will equip two of these linear accelerators with Varian's On-Board Imager devices, Cone-beam CT and automated repositioning software, enabling clinicians to carry out treatments using the latest in IGRT imaging technology.
Sarah Hynd, Head of the UCH radiotherapy department, says the robotic On-Board Imager devices will change the way that the team works. "As well as enabling us to improve our ability to image inside the patient and adjust treatments accordingly, they will give us the opportunity to streamline some of our processes and make us more efficient as a department," she said.
She added that a number of cancer consultants at UCH were specialists in their fields and were keen to make use of the better imaging afforded by the On-Board Imager devices for specialist treatments. "As well as reducing side effects and improving outcomes for patients, we intend to demonstrate the benefits of IGRT through participation in numerous research projects and the publishing of scientific papers," she said, adding that a program of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) would also commence at the new site.
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.
Prior to the advent of 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 centers with its integrated and automated radiotherapy systems. The two On-Board Imager devices at UCH are only the fourth and fifth installations of their kind in the UK, after Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology near Liverpool and Ipswich General Hospital.
Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068 About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., (NYSE: VAR) of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading supplier of equipment and software for treating cancer. The company is also a premier supplier of components including X-ray tubes and flat-panel detectors for medical, scientific, and industrial imaging. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 3,280 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 55 sales and support offices around the world. 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 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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SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
Contact: Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44-7786-526068
Web site: http://www.varian.com/