Healthcare Industry News:  proton 

Devices Oncology

 News Release - November 17, 2008

Cancer Patients in Southern Florida Now Benefiting from RapidArc(TM) Radiotherapy Technology at Innovative Cancer Institute

Speedy Treatments Are Precise and More Comfortable For Cancer Patients

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 17 (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Erich Vogel, a 52-year old businessman, remembers when breathing problems early this year led to the discovery of a tumor growing in his nasal cavity. "When decongestants and nasal sprays didn't help, and breathing got more and more difficult, an ear, nose and throat specialist finally referred me to a surgeon who performed a biopsy and found cancer," said Vogel.

The tumor was removed surgically, and for eight months, Vogel had no further problems. Then, in September a new test showed the cancer had returned. The cancer had invaded the bone at the base of his skull, making another surgery a risky proposition.

Vogel found his way to the Innovative Cancer Institute in South Florida where Dr. Beatriz Amendola, a radiation oncologist, had just begun using RapidArc(TM) radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR ). RapidArc is a new and highly-precise form of treatment that targets tumors quickly and accurately while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. "Although Erich's tumor was in a difficult position near the eye, brain, and several vital glands, we were able to design a RapidArc treatment that targets the tumor and minimizes exposure of the normal tissues around it," Dr. Amendola said.

RapidArc technology delivers an advanced image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment 2 to 8 times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT technology. Dr. Amendola points out that, once he is positioned for treatment, Vogel's daily treatments take less than two minutes to complete using RapidArc. The same treatments would have taken more than 10 minutes using earlier IMRT technologies.

Vogel appreciates the speed of RapidArc, as he must lie immobilized on a table for each treatment. "The therapists let me know, along the way, how much time is left in each treatment, which helps tremendously. But I'm so grateful for how fast this process actually is -- I'm on and off the table in no time, which is a super benefit."

According to Dr. Amendola, in addition to patient comfort, there are other benefits to faster treatments. "They can further improve treatment precision because patients are less likely to move during shorter treatments," she said, a point that is borne out by published studies that show patients move more during longer treatments. Other published studies suggest that faster treatments may result in higher cancer cell kill rates.

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 100,000 will occur in the state of Florida.

Note to editors: Dr. Beatriz Amendola of the Innovative Cancer Institute speaks fluent Spanish as well as English, and can arrange for interviews with patients who speak either language.

About Innovative Cancer Institute

The Innovative Cancer Institute is a team of physicians & health care professionals dedicated to compassionate, personalized & state of art cancer treatment. The Innovative Cancer Institute strives to be the leader in advanced medical technology with the ultimate goal of providing comfort, emotional support and better quality of life. We are located at 6141 Sunset Drive Suite 102, South Miami Fl 33143, phone (305) 669-6833, dramendola@gmail.com

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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