Enschede, Netherlands, November 1st 2006 -- Cancer patients in the Netherlands will benefit from more targeted radiotherapy treatments with the installation of the country’s first On-Board Imager® (OBI) device for image-guided radiotherapy. MST (Medische Spectrum Twente) Hospital in the eastern Netherlands city of Enschede has begun clinical treatments using the new device, which enables doctors to adjust the patient’s position at the time of treatment and ensure the tumor is more precisely targeted.
Dr Peter Helle, head of radiation oncology at MST Enschede, says the OBI device has enabled his team to reduce treatment margins to within 2mm-3mm accuracy, lower than the previous 5mm margins. “This will make a real difference in our ability to focus higher dose on the tumor and avoid damaging healthy surrounding tissue,‿ he says.
Doctors at MST Enschede also plan to start a stereotactic radiosurgery program using the OBI device on a Clinac® iX linear accelerator, the treatment machine. “When you are giving stereotactic treatments with doses of 60 Gray in three sessions or 18-21 Gray in one session – for small brain tumors for example – you obviously need to be extremely accurate and the On-Board Imager will give us that degree of precision,‿ adds Dr Helle.
MST is one of the Netherlands’ primary non-academic radiotherapy centers and the largest in the eastern region of the country. Located a few miles from the German border, the hospital treats patients from western Germany as well as the Twente region of Holland. The center is equipped with four Varian linear accelerators.
Max Takkenberg, Varian’s Netherlands country manager, says, “This leading cancer center has demonstrated that it wants to offer its patients the most advanced, highly-targeted radiotherapy for combating cancer. Varian’s fully automated imaging and patient positioning system makes it possible for busy centers such as MST Enschede to offer the most advanced image-guided treatments within the standard 10-15 minute treatment period that is available for patients. Automation is crucial because technology advances in this area must not place an additional burden on staff and push up patient waiting lists.‿
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 OBI 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 during treatment sessions.
The OBI device enables radiographic, fluoroscopic and 3D Conebeam CT images to be swiftly acquired at the time of treatment. Any adjustments to the patient’s position can be carried out by a radiography nurse entirely from outside the treatment room, ensuring the fastest and most automated image-guided radiotherapy in the world.
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 OBI 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 6,100 radiotherapy centers worldwide, and Varian equips nearly half of these centers with its integrated and automated radiotherapy systems. The market and technology leader in image-guided radiotherapy, Varian has installed – or is in the process of installing - more than 325 OBI-equipped systems to date around the world.
Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068, firstname.lastname@example.org
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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