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Doctors in New Hampshire Now Treating Cancer with Non-Invasive Image-Guided Radiosurgery Using Novalis Tx(TM) Technology

A 71-year old man with inoperable lung cancer is able to receive stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) treatment

DOVER, N.H., May 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Surgeons told Donald Bickford, 71, that due to the weakened condition of his lungs, ordinary surgery was not an option for removing his lung tumor. To treat the tumor, Arul Mahadevan, MD, radiation oncologist at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital here, prescribed a type of non-invasive radiosurgery using the Novalis Tx(TM) platform from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) and BrainLAB.

The Novalis Tx delivers powerful, precisely sculpted doses of radiation using a combination of image-guidance and robotically-controlled beam-shaping tools. In Bickford's case, the treatments were designed to narrowly target his tumor while avoiding, as much as possible, the delicate healthy lung tissues around it. To further ensure treatment accuracy, Wentworth Douglass clinicians used the platform's optical and X-ray image-guidance technology to adjust for any tumor movement due to Bickford's breathing during treatment.

"I'm a long time smoker, and over time, my breathing capacity has been severely weakened," said Bickford, a retired assembler of printing presses. "Thoracic surgeons told me that because of the poor condition of my lungs, I couldn't handle any kind of surgical procedure. Thankfully for me, there was another treatment option."

Clinicians completed Bickford's full course of SBRT treatments in five days without the need for anesthesia or overnight hospital stays. On each of these days, Bickford was in and out of the hospital in a little more than an hour. Treatments were quick and painless. "I wasn't really nervous. In fact, I didn't feel a thing during the treatments," said Bickford. "I've been feeling fine ever since."

"The Novalis Tx platform made it possible for us to treat Donald's lung tumor," said Dr. Mahadevan. "It incorporates all the tools for both the imaging and dose delivery steps, which makes the process very smooth for us and for our patients. It enabled us to verify the position of the tumor prior to each treatment and deliver the dose in a way that aims to avoid other tissues already weakened by the patient's chronic pulmonary disease. The Novalis Tx is an exceptional machine for treating tumors and malignancies in highly sensitive areas of the body."

The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2008, doctors diagnosed 215,020 new cases of lung cancer in the US, with over 1,040 occurring in New Hampshire, and 1,330 occurring in Maine.

About Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, a not for profit, acute care hospital, is one of the fastest growing acute care hospitals in New Hampshire and the busiest in the Seacoast region. Specialties include the regional Seacoast Cancer Center offering a wide range of medical and radiation oncology services; the daVinci Robotic Surgical System for GYN, Urologic, General and Thoracic Surgery; a Wound Healing Institute with Hyperbaric Oxygen; CHaD at WDH, an outpatient pediatric specialty medicine center; a comprehensive Women and Children's Center for birthing and inpatient pediatric services, Integrative Therapies and Palliative Care inpatient and outpatient programs.

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 5,100 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, China, and Europe and in its 79 offices and facilities around the world. For more information, visit

About BrainLAB

BrainLAB develops, manufactures and markets software-driven medical technology that enables procedures that are more precise, less invasive, and also less expensive than traditional treatments. Among the core products are image-guided systems that provide highly accurate real-time information used for navigation during surgical procedures. This utility has been further expanded to serve as a computer terminal for physicians to more effectively access and interpret diagnostic scans and other digital medical information for better informed decisions. BrainLAB solutions allow expansion from a single system to operating suites to digitally integrated hospitals covering all subspecialties from neurosurgery, orthopedics, ENT, CMF to spine & trauma and oncology. With 3300 systems installed in over 75 countries, BrainLAB is a market leader in image-guided technology. The privately held BrainLAB group, founded in 1989, is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and today employs 1000 people in 16 offices across Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America. To learn more, visit

    John Worlton, Varian Medical Systems
    650-424-6438 or

SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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