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Beijing Cancer Hospital Becomes First Hospital in Mainland China to Introduce Fast and Precise RapidArc Radiotherapy Cancer Treatments

BEIJING, July 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cancer patients in mainland China are gaining access to fast and efficient radiotherapy treatments with the introduction of RapidArc(R) radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) at the Beijing Cancer Hospital. BCH is the first hospital in mainland China to introduce the revolutionary technique, which offers more advanced care to a greater number of patients.

"The speed and precision of RapidArc makes it perfect for the heavy patient throughput that we see in China," says Dr. Guangying Zhu, professor of radiation oncology at BCH. "We will be able to treat more patients with the new RapidArc-equipped accelerator, which should certainly help to improve the regional control rate and offer significant benefits to patients."

The new system was unveiled at a 'ribbon-cutting' ceremony attended by many local dignitaries on July 10th. Doctors at the hospital intend to use RapidArc primarily for precise treatments of lung cancer, esophagus cancer, rectal cancer and head & neck cancer.

RapidArc delivers a precise and efficient treatment in single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver image-guided IMRT two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. Faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery and, with less time on the treatment couch, also allow for greater patient comfort.

Beijing Cancer Hospital has treated more than 5,000 patients with conventional IMRT in recent years, gaining a global reputation for the quality of its treatments and the scientific papers published on its research. "Most IMRT treatments take between 15 and 30 minutes to deliver," adds Dr. Zhu. "With RapidArc we will be able to offer equivalent and even superior treatments in just two to three minutes. The high-performance On-Board Imager(R) is an excellent targeting tool and the reliability of Varian's linear accelerators brings us a great deal of confidence for a high up-time system."

Beijing Cancer Hospital's department of radiation oncology treats more than 2,000 new cancer patients each year from across China, as well as from neighboring countries such as Vietnam.

According to Dr. Zhu, RapidArc will be particularly helpful in helping to cut growing waiting lists at the hospital, with cancer rates rising significantly year-on-year. "There is a huge difference in the linear accelerator installed base between different areas of China. From a technology and expertise standpoint, large hospitals in China have advanced equipment and clinical expertise that is no different from that in more developed countries. We just have nowhere near enough capacity to meet our needs," he says. There are 12 machines per million people in the US and only 0.7 machines per million people in China.

"RapidArc will help this busy public cancer center to treat more patients with advanced radiotherapy techniques," says Tom Duffy, Varian's marketing director in China. "When implemented, RapidArc can enable hospitals to treat over 30 percent more patients on a linear accelerator each day."

Dr. Jinming Yu, chairman of the China Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology (CSTRO), said, "RapidArc is the leading radiation therapy technique, especially for fast and precisely targeted treatments. I believe that this high-tech machine will provide excellent benefits for cancer patients in China."

Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068

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 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit

SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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