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Cancer Experts Detail Advances in Radiosurgery and Knowledge-Based Treatment Planning Using Varian Medical Systems Technologies

More than 1,500 oncology professionals hear of pioneering radiosurgery treatments and knowledge-based planning techniques at two Varian-hosted symposia

VIENNA, April 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cancer experts have reported advances in radiosurgery treatments for the prostate, liver and spine, as well as significant developments in radiation oncology treatment planning using equipment and software from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). Speakers at two Varian-hosted symposia at the 33rd ESTRO (European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology) meeting in Vienna detailed experiences of stereotactic radiosurgery treatments using Varian's Edge™ and TrueBeam™ STx platforms for radiosurgery. Varian's RapidPlan™ knowledge-based treatment planning software was also presented at the meeting.

At the 'Cutting Edge' symposium, doctors from the first three hospitals to commence treatments with Varian's Edge Radiosurgery platform -- Champalimaud Center for the Unknown in Lisbon, Humanitas Cancer Center in Milan, and the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, U.S. – described positive experiences with their pioneering treatments.

Professor Carlo Greco of Champalimaud Center for the Unknown in Lisbon described his use of the Edge Radiosurgery platform to deliver a wide range of SABR treatments. As an example, Dr. Greco reported using this platform together with real-time tumor tracking system using implanted transponders to complete lung and prostate treatments in a single session.  He also said his team has so far treated more than 50 prostate cancer cases in just five treatment sessions using Calypso® transponders to track motion.

"Taking account of motion has always been a real challenge for radiation oncology but we now have the tools to meet this challenge," said Dr. Greco. "We are able to mitigate the effects of motion now in ways that would have seemed unthinkable even a few years ago, and with greater motion management we are able to consider delivering stereotactic treatments in a single session, making dose delivery faster and potentially more effective."

Dr. Marta Scorsetti, head of radiosurgery and radiotherapy at Humanitas Cancer Center in Milan, outlined her technique for treating liver cancer and liver metastases using stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), suggesting it can be an effective non-invasive alternative to surgery for such cancers. Doctors at Humanitas have now used SABR to treat 25 liver cancer patients and 61 liver metastases patients over the last two years, according to Dr. Scorsetti.

The 'Cutting Edge' symposium also included a presentation from Dr. Samuel Ryu, formerly of Henry Ford System in Detroit (now chairman of the radiation oncology department at Stony Brook University in New York), who spoke about his experiences in spine radiosurgery.

Varian also hosted an 'Emerging Technologies' symposium during ESTRO, focusing on its RapidPlan® knowledge-based treatment planning software that enables clinicians to leverage knowledge and data from earlier treatment plans to quickly develop to high-quality personalized plans for current patients.  With this new software, clinicians can create standard of care plans to reduce variability in treatment planning to achieve greater consistency and quality in patient care. The RapidPlan software supports virtually every type of radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatment.

Dr. Wilko Verbakel from VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam focused his presentation on the challenges of planning radiotherapy treatments for complex head and neck tumors and how utilizing knowledge-based software can lead to improved sparing of healthy tissues. He said much of this knowledge is included in the newly released RapidPlan software which was tested to provide good model-based treatment plans.

Dr. Sasa Mutic from Washington University in St. Louis, U.S., detailed his center's experiences in knowledge-based planning, describing it as a transformative development and not an incremental improvement. Dr Mutic said such tools will help enable clinicians to standardize care as well as better implement adaptive radiotherapy.

Dr. Andrew Kneebone of North Sydney Cancer Center travelled from Australia to present his institution's experiences in multileaf collimator (MLC) based tracking using Varian's Calypso transponders. The multileaf collimator is a piece of technology that uses a computer-controlled aperture to shape the radiation beam so that it matches the shape and size of the tumor.  Dr. Kneebone's work has been to use the collimator to "follow" the tumor as it moves in real time, so that the treatment beam is always centered on its target, even as the tumor moves up and down as the patient breathes.

"These well attended symposia demonstrate that Varian is leading the way in cancer treatment tools and techniques," said Rolf Staehelin, head of international marketing for Varian's Oncology Systems business. "With Edge Radiosurgery, our first users are delivering highly precise intra- and extra-cranial radiosurgical treatments. Also on the new RapidPlan knowledge-based planning solution the customer response has been overwhelming, with users seeing the clinical value of utilizing and sharing their planning knowledge to create more consistent, higher quality plans in shorter times."

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, 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 6,400 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.

SOURCE Varian Medical Systems

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