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First European IGRT School Takes Place for Radiotherapy Practitioners in UK
Date:9/27/2007

offered to all hospitals purchasing Varian's On-Board kV imaging system. The next school takes place on December 6th-8th and 2008 events at Clatterbridge have been scheduled for dates in February, June, October and December.

Rolf Staehelin, Varian's European marketing director, says, "We have seen unprecedented demand for our image-guided accessories and a school such as this gives our new users the opportunity to see the device in action and learn from the experiences of the system's earliest and most experienced adopters."

Varian's On-Board Imager for IGRT makes it possible for clinicians to image and treat patients on a single machine that rotates around the patient to take X-ray images and deliver treatments from virtually any angle. Mounted on the linear accelerator, the On-Board Imager device produces high-resolution images of the tumor and tracks changes in tumor shape, size or position due to shrinkage or shifting over a multi-week course of treatment, and due to respiration.

IGRT can improve the quality of all forms of radiotherapy, including conventional, 3-D conformal, intensity-modulated, and stereotactic radiotherapies. "Techniques like intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) have enabled clinicians to shape the radiation beam so it conforms to the tumor being treated. IGRT makes it easier to know exactly where to aim the beams," says Dow Wilson, president of Varian's Oncology Systems business.

Prior to the advent of IGRT, radiation oncologists had to contend with variations in patient positioning and with respiratory motion by treating a larger margin of healthy tissue around the tumor. IGRT enables doctors to further minimize the volume of healthy tissue exposed to the treatment beam. Potentially, image data from IGRT tools like the On-Board Imager device will be used to note changes in tumor size and shape over a course of treatment, and make real-time adaptations to the treatment plan.

Editorial contact: Neil Madle
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems
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