Healthcare Industry News:  radiosurgery 

Devices Oncology

 News Release - December 6, 2011

Varian Medical Systems Adds High Dose Delivery and Prone Breast Treatment Capabilities to Clinac(R) and Trilogy(R) Cancer Treatment Machines

Updated control software enables high intensity dose delivery and better support for treating breast cancer in the prone position

PALO ALTO, Calif. , Dec. 6, 2011 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Clinac® and Trilogy® medical linear accelerators from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR ), machines that are used to treat cancer with targeted radiotherapy, have been updated to deliver higher doses up to two times faster than was previously possible. They can now also better facilitate treating breast cancer patients on their stomachs (in the prone position) rather than their backs—an approach that can reduce the volume of lung and heart tissue exposed to radiation during treatment.

Treatments Up to 50 Percent Faster

Updated control software, which received 510(k) clearance in November from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), adds a High Intensity Mode to the Clinac and Trilogy machines, enabling dose delivery rates of up to 2400 monitor units per minute—double their former highest output.

"Our High Intensity Mode makes it possible to deliver some treatments up to 50 percent faster than is possible without it," said Chris Toth , senior director of marketing for Varian's Oncology Systems business. "We're seeing trends toward the use of hypo-fractionation and radiosurgical approaches for many types of cancer, which means that higher doses are delivered in just one or a few treatment sessions for quick ablation of a tumor. There has been encouraging research supporting this approach for the treatment of cancers of the brain[1], spine[2], and lung[3], as well as for prostate cancer.[4] With High Intensity Mode, our Clinac and Trilogy machines can deliver these high dose treatments within a clinically-feasible timeframe."

Supporting Breast Cancer Radiotherapy in the Prone Position

Varian also received FDA clearance for the Pivotal™ Care Solution for Prone Breast Treatment, an innovation that allows patients to be treated on their stomachs rather than their backs. Recent studies have shown that, for many women without axillary lymph node disease, treatment in the prone position can be used to significantly reduce the volume of lung and heart tissue exposed to the treatment beam.[5],[6]

"When a woman is in the prone position for treatment, the targeted breast falls away from the rest of her body, creating a greater separation between the breast and the critical organs that lie behind her chest wall," Toth says. "The Pivotal Solution makes it possible to treat an anatomical area that lies below the couch top, such as a breast that is hanging away from the rest of the body, enabling physicians to choose this approach if it is best for a particular patient. Varian is committed to providing clinicians with tools that make it faster and easier to offer cancer patients advanced treatments that have the best likelihood of a positive outcome.


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 5,700 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 or follow us on Twitter.

[1] Lin, Chun-Shu et al. Accelerator-Based Stereotactic radiosurgery for Brainstem Metastases. Neurosurgery: 2011; Oct 12. Epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31823c40fe.

[2] Sahgal A et al. Stereotactic body radiotherapy for spinal metastases: current status, with a focus on its application in the postoperative patient: A review. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. Feb 2011:14(2): 151-166.

[3] Timmerman R et al. Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Inoperable Early Stage Lung Cancer (RTOG 0236). JAMA. 2010;303(11):1070-1076.

[4] King CR et al. Long-Term Outcomes From A Prospective Trial Of Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy For Low-Risk Prostate Cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2011; Feb 7 . Epub ahead of print. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.11.054.

[5]Formenti S et al. Results of NYU 05-181: A Prospective Trial to Determine Optimal Position (Prone versus Supine) for Breast Radiotherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009; 75(3) Supplement, S203-S204.

[6] Huppert N. et al. The role of a prone setup in breast radiation therapy. Frontiers in Oncology. 2011 Oct; Volume 1, doi: 10.3389/fonc.2011.00031.

Source: Varian Medical Systems

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