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A Fast, New Cancer Fighting Tool Is Now Available in the Houston Area: RapidArc(TM) Radiotherapy Technology from Varian Medical Systems
Date:1/26/2009

PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Doctors at the Northwoods Cancer Center near Houston, Texas are now treating cancer patients using new RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). Jack Laxton, 84, a retired machinist fighting prostate cancer, is among the first patients in Houston to benefit from the speed and accuracy of RapidArc, which delivers image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster than is possible with earlier radiotherapy technologies.

"My treatments go very quickly," said Laxton, who receives a RapidArc treatment each weekday at Northwoods Cancer Center in Shenandoah, a Houston suburb. "I'm mid-way through my nine weeks of treatment and I'm grateful to say that I haven't experienced any serious side effects. In fact, during the actual treatment, I usually don't feel anything at all."

"Mr. Laxton's treatments take only 80 seconds to complete once he has been positioned on the treatment couch, and treatments for our other RapidArc patients are going just as fast," said Christopher Phan, MD. "This makes things much easier and more comfortable for patients."

Dr. Phan adds that by decreasing the time a patient could make voluntary or involuntary movements during a treatment -- which is common during longer treatments -- RapidArc helps to deliver the radiation dose as planned. "RapidArc is fast enough to reduce the chance of dose delivery error due to tumor motion," said Dr. Phan. "Further, our treatment plan comparisons show that dosimetrically, the RapidArc plans are often better than the traditional IMRT plans in sparing the healthy tissue around a tumor."

In addition to increased convenience for patients and the potential for enhanced accuracy, the speed of a RapidArc treatment may have ot
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems
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