Healthcare Industry News:  beam-shaping 

Devices Oncology

 News Release - May 1, 2007

First Extra-Cranial Stereotactic Treatment in Switzerland Takes Place on Lung Cancer Patient Using Varian Equipment

BERN, Switzerland, May 1 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- A 36-year-old female lung cancer patient has become the first person in Switzerland to be treated using a highly-targeted radiotherapy technique called extra-cranial stereotactic radiotherapy. Using state-of-the-art equipment from Varian Medical Systems, the team at Lindenhofspital in Bern has successfully delivered three highly-focused, powerful radiotherapy doses aimed at destroying a small tumor on the patient's lung.

Dr. Leon Andre, medical physicist at the private Lindenhofspital, said the tumor has shrunk as a result of the treatment and the patient is now recovering well. The treatment took place using a Varian Clinac® 23EX linear accelerator with a 120-leaf MLC (multileaf collimator) to enable clinicians to narrow down the beam to millimeter accuracy, thereby reducing the risk of side effects.

"Surgery was not an option for this patient because her other lung had been removed a year ago," explained Dr. Andre. "A new tumor appeared on her remaining lung and we decided that the best option would be to deliver three high-dose stereotactic treatments over a ten-day period. We are very pleased with the way the patient has responded to this new stereotactic treatment."

Stereotactic radiation therapy treatment is often used for cranial tumors but recent advances in real-time imaging equipment and beam-shaping devices have broadened its use to the rest of the body. These advances include the On-Board Imager®, a state-of-the-art imaging device which extends from the linear accelerator and enables highly accurate Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) treatments, and the 120-leaf Millennium(TM) multileaf collimator, which allows the beam to be shaped to extreme levels of precision. Without such advances, clinicians would have been forced to expose a margin of between five and ten millimeters of healthy tissue around the target tumor to account for possible movement.

"The purpose of extra-cranial stereotactic radiotherapy is to increase the dose to achieve the best possible tumor control rates while minimising the risk of side effects," adds Dr. Andre. "This can only be achieved by decreasing the amount of normal healthy tissue that is exposed.

"The recent availability of IGRT solutions in general and conebeam CT (CBCT) imaging in particular have meant a tremendous improvement in treatments," he added. He said stereotactic radiosurgery now offers many patients treatment options for tumors that could not have been treated before, meaning new hope in their fight against cancer

As of March 31st, more than 450 Varian On-Board Imager devices have been installed -- or are being installed -- in hospitals around the world, enabling highly-precise image-guided radiotherapy and both intra- and extra-cranial stereotactic treatments to take place on a routine basis.

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, proton therapy, 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 3,900 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. For more information, visit

Forward Looking Statements

Statements in this press release regarding future business, events, plans, objectives, expectations, estimates, and other similar matters, including, but not limited to, statements using the terms "can" and "expect," constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements contained in this press release are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including, but not limited to, the risks described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports filed from time to time by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent the Company's judgment as of the date of this press release. The Company assumes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements because of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Source: Varian Medical Systems

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