VASTERAS, Sweden, July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cancer patients in Sweden have gained access to fast and efficient radiotherapy treatments with the installation of Scandinavia's first TrueBeam™ system from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). This advanced system has commenced clinical treatments for patients at Vasteras Hospital, west of Stockholm.
Until recently, physicists and doctors at the busy hospital have been treating 70 patients a day in two shifts between 6.30am and 8.30pm. The arrival of the TrueBeam system means more advanced treatments can be delivered in shorter times, potentially enabling a resumption of normal working patterns.
"We have been forced to introduce shifts to keep pace with the patient needs but TrueBeam will enable us to go back to a normal working day," says head of physics Dr. Sture Eklund. "It will also allow us to introduce advanced treatments techniques such as stereotactic radiosurgery."
A 71-year-old local man with prostate cancer became the first patient to be treated on the TrueBeam device earlier this month and many more patients have since been treated using the system. "Our experience so far is that we're achieving high levels of precision, excellent image quality and very fast throughput," says Dr. Eklund.
TrueBeam was designed to treat cancer in a fast and precise manner, including tumors that move during treatment as the patient breathes in and out. Designed to advance the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, and other types of cancer, TrueBeam features a multitude of technical innovations that dynamically synchronize imaging, patient positioning, motion management, and treatment delivery. With its High Intensity Mode, TrueBeam can deliver very high doses quickly and accurately, more than twice as fast as earlier generations of technology.
Dr. Eklund said that brain tumor patients were previously sent to Stockholm and lung and esophagus cancer patients to Uppsala for stereotactic radiotherapy treatments, but with TrueBeam such patients can now receive stereotactic treatments at Vasteras, which serves a population of about 250,000.
"We are the only hospital offering radiotherapy treatments in this county and it is important for people not to have to travel long distances for treatment," added Dr. Eklund. "One of our current machines was due for replacement and we had a choice to make – we could buy something cheaper which could be obsolete in two or three years, or we could buy a much more advanced system which would see us through many more years. We opted for the latter."
TrueBeam can be used to deliver intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), which is a precise form of radiotherapy that shapes the treatment beam so that it matches the shape of the tumor in three dimensions. TrueBeam can also deliver RapidArc® radiotherapy, which speeds up IMRT delivery by as much as a factor of eight.
Dr Eklund said even carrying out IMRT has been a problem for the hospital in the past due to time constraints, but both RapidArc and stereotactic radiosurgery treatments would soon commence on the TrueBeam system. "Our staff is delighted with TrueBeam," he added. "They find it very easy to use, very intuitive and it takes this hospital's treatment capabilities to the next level."
Sten Hornsleth, Varian's Scandinavia regional manager, says, "This hospital is a great example of where TrueBeam makes a huge difference both in treatment capabilities and patient throughput. The team at Vasteras has been doing its best to cope with a heavy patient workload and now they believe they can better cope with this workload and introduce advanced radiotherapy techniques."
Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068
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 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 5,500 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.
SOURCE Varian Medical Systems