Healthcare Industry News:  proton 

Devices Oncology

 News Release - November 4, 2008

Central California Doctors Now Using Fast RapidArc(TM) Radiotherapy Technology to Battle Cancer

Speedy Treatments are Precise and More Comfortable for Cancer Patients

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 4 (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Doctors at Cancer Care Associates in Fresno, California have commenced treating cancer patients using RapidArc(TM) technology, a new advancement from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR ) that delivers accurate radiotherapy treatments very quickly. RapidArc treatments can be completed two to eight times faster than was possible with earlier forms of treatment.

Two patients battling advanced pituitary gland cancer and advanced lung cancer were among the first people to benefit from RapidArc treatments at Cancer Care Associates. "Our patient with pituitary gland cancer required a very tight, narrow margin of error because of the tumor's proximity to crucial structures like the optic nerve and the brainstem," said Jedidiah Monson, MD, medical director of radiation oncology. "We made comparisons between a RapidArc IMRT plan and a conventional IMRT plan, and for both cases, RapidArc provided better sparing of healthy tissues, which is critical for achieving favorable clinical outcomes with fewer side effects."

RapidArc treatments are typically delivered five days a week over a period of several weeks. Once the patient is properly positioned, treatments that might have taken 20 minutes in the past can be completed in less than two minutes.

Monson points out that the speed of the daily RapidArc treatments has contributed to his patients' level of comfort. "Both patients felt anxious over whether they could endure a treatment that required them to lie still for a long period of time, and were grateful to learn that, with RapidArc, they wouldn't have to," he said.

RapidArc treatments achieve the accuracy that their patients need with special technology that molds the treatment beam into the shape of a patient's tumor in order to reduce dose to normal tissues nearby.

Treatment planning analyses conducted by Varian and clinical researchers have shown that, in many cases, RapidArc concentrates dose more closely on the tumor than conventional fixed beam IMRT treatments. Additionally, studies show that faster treatments can help to minimize the effects of tumor motion during treatment, and potentially lead to a higher cancer cell kill rate.

RapidArc radiotherapy technology has now been used for the treatment of prostate, head and neck, lung, brain, spine, bone, gynecological, and soft tissue cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that, in the United States this year, doctors will diagnose 1,437,180 new cancer cases; over 150,000 will occur in the state of California.

About Cancer Care Associates

Cancer Care Associates is a team of physicians (eight medical oncologist and one radiation oncologist) & health care professionals dedicated to compassionate, integrated & innovative cancer treatment. We understand the value of life and strongly believe patients greatly benefit from a team of physicians working closely together. With the addition of Radiation, Imaging and Dispensing programs, patients can easily access many aspects of their treatment right here in one building. Given cancer's intense physical and emotional toll, Cancer Care strives to always be the leaders in clinical research & integrative medicine providing not only physical comfort, but emotional support and better quality of life. For newly diagnosed Breast Cancer patients, our Breast program is dedicated to "helping patients through their journey." Compassion, Prevention, Research & Wellness are our foundation and we are invested to providing only the most innovative, state of the art treatment possible.

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 4,800 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 60 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/.


Source: Varian Medical Systems

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