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Clinicians in Netherlands Treat Lung Cancer Patients Using New RapidArc Radiotherapy Technology from Varian Medical Systems

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Doctors in the Netherlands have used RapidArc technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) to treat four early stage lung cancer patients in what is believed to be among the world's first treatments of their kind. Clinicians at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam now plan to replace conventional stereotactic radiotherapy treatments with RapidArc for all such patients.

A 57-year-old male, diagnosed with a 1.2cm diameter non-small cell lung tumor in the right upper lobe and deemed unfit for surgery as a result of severe emphysema, was the first patient to receive the pioneering radiotherapy treatment at the hospital in early September.

"We normally use ultra-precise stereotactic radiotherapy in these cases and we have now treated more than 400 such patients in this way," said Dr. Ben Slotman, chairman of the hospital's department of radiation oncology. "But RapidArc offers some real time-savings over stereotactic radiotherapy and its use in this case is a real breakthrough for us and our patients."

The pioneering treatment was delivered in less than 15 minutes versus the 30 to 45 minutes normally needed by the team at VU University Medical Center to treat lungs with image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). The treatment was delivered using six arcs -- or rotations -- of the treatment machine around the patient. RapidArc delivers a volumetric radiotherapy treatment in a single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient.

"We were very pleased with how the treatment went," added Dr. Suresh Sunan, professor of clinical experimental radiotherapy. "The online patient setup using cone beam CT scans allowed direct visualization of the tumor just prior to fast treatment delivery using RapidArc, all of which greatly increased the confidence of the treatment team in the precision of delivery. The high dose radiation area was restricted to the tumor and the surrounding healthy tissue and critical organs received very low doses."

"Due to the high precision and the speed of treatment delivery, and the associated increase in patient comfort, RapidArc will eventually replace all 'conventional' stereotactic treatments for early stage lung cancer at our hospital."

RapidArc was introduced by Varian earlier this year and to date more than 30 hospitals around the world are using this new technology for advanced, precise and fast treatments. Non-small cell lung cancer treatments require extremely precise radiotherapy delivery to avoid affecting surrounding critical organs. Worldwide, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in women.

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 4,800 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 60 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit

SOURCE Varian Medical Systems
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