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Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong First in Asia to Offer Cancer Patients Image-Guided RapidArc® Radiotherapy Using the UNIQUE™ Radiotherapy System

HONG KONG and PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong, China, has become the first treatment center in Asia to commence treating cancer patients using the UNIQUE™ medical linear accelerator from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR).  Clinicians used the new device for the first time last week, to deliver an image-guided RapidArc® treatment for a patient battling hypopharyngeal cancer, a tumor in the lower part of the throat near the larynx.

The Department of Clinical Oncology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital presented its new UNIQUE radiotherapy system to guests, including senior colleagues from other regional oncology centers, at a special ceremony earlier this week.  

Kin Yin Cheung, Head of Medical Physics at Prince of Wales Hospital said his clinic chose the UNIQUE system mainly because it can deliver RapidArc radiotherapy, an arc-based approach to image-guided IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy), up to four times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT.  Studies* show that faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less time for patient or tumor movement during treatment.  With less time on the treatment couch, patient comfort is also enhanced.

"The UNIQUE system, with its capacity for fast RapidArc treatments, markedly enhances our treatment capacity," said Dr. Brian Yu, Head of Radiation Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital.  "It enables our center to provide timely precision radiotherapy to an increasing number of patients, helping to improve our throughput.  This arc-based treatment shortens the treatment delivery time to less than two minutes.  Our measurements show that UNIQUE can deliver high quality conventional IMRT and RapidArc treatments.  Prince of Wales Hospital will use RapidArc as a preferred modality for treating head and neck and prostate cancer."

UNIQUE is the world's first single-energy radiotherapy system with image-guidance and RapidArc® treatment capabilities. It was developed to bring advanced cancer care to more patients around the world. It incorporates Varian's proven technologies for reliable and consistent dose control, delivery, and beam shaping.  The system is designed to treat the world's most common cancers, including in the head and neck, breast, cervix and prostate tumors.

"With its speed and image guidance capabilities, UNIQUE enables cancer clinics to provide quality care to more patients at a lower cost per treatment," said Tom Duffy, Varian's vice president of sales and marketing for the Asia Pacific region. "We are pleased to support Prince of Wales Hospital in making this technology available to patients in this region."


The Department of Clinical Oncology at Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong treats more than 3,600 cancer patients each year.  It is an institution that provides integrated radiotherapy, medical oncology, hematological oncology, and palliative care services.  The department is a pioneer in intensity-modulated radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma and a leading research center studying malignancies that are prevalent in Southeast Asia, including nasopharyngeal, lung, and liver cancers.  The new UNIQUE machine is the fifth medical linear accelerator from Varian Medical Systems installed at the hospital over the last two years.


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, Europe, and China and approximately 79 sales and support offices around the world. The company's center in Beijing, established three years ago, encompasses oncology equipment manufacturing operations, an educational center for radiotherapy clinical professionals, a customer service center, and X-ray Products assembly and service.  For more information, visit

Selected References:

Kung, Shiris Wai Sum, et al. "Dosimetric Comparison of Intensity-Modulated Stereotactic Radiotherapy with Other Stereotactic Techniques for Locally Recurrent Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma." International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics In Press, Corrected Proof. Available online 10 April 2010.

Bertelsen, Anders, et al. "Single Arc Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy of Head and Neck Cancer." Radiotherapy and Oncology 95 2 (2010): 142-148.

Doornaert, Patricia, et al. "RapidArc Planning and Delivery in Patients with Locally Advanced Head-and-Neck Cancer Undergoing Chemoradiotherapy." International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics In Press, Corrected Proof. Available online 24 April 2010.

Bhide, S. A., and C. M. Nutting. "Advances in Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer." Oral Oncology In Press, Corrected Proof. Available online 20 April 2010

Verbakel, Wilko F. A. R., et al. "Volumetric Intensity-Modulated Arc Therapy Vs. Conventional IMRT in Head-and-Neck Cancer: A Comparative Planning and Dosimetric Study." International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics 74 1 (2009): 252-259.FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:UNITED STATES



Alan Tang

Kin Yin CheungTel: 650.424.6444


SOURCE Varian Medical Systems
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