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Estonian Cancer Patients Have Access to More Conformal Radiotherapy Treatments for First Time with Unveiling of Advanced Varian Treatment Machine
Date:1/15/2009

TALLINN, Estonia, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cancer patients in Estonia now have access to advanced radiotherapy techniques, such as intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), for the first time with the official unveiling shortly before Christmas of an advanced Varian Medical Systems treatment machine at the North Estonia Regional Hospital in the country's capital, Tallinn. The opening ceremony attracted publicity on Estonian national TV and in national newspapers.

North Estonia Regional Hospital, which serves two-thirds of Estonia's 1.4 million population, has doubled its linear accelerator capacity with the acquisition of a Varian Clinac(R) DHX equipped with a Millennium(TM) 120-leaf collimator, enabling more conformal radiotherapy treatment. "We have moved from conventional radiotherapy to conformal radiotherapy for the first time," says senior physicist Eduard Gerskevitch. "The collimator's finer leaves allow clinicians to conform the treatment beam tighter to the tumor and limit irradiation of normal healthy tissue.

"This new equipment has enabled us to improve the quality of our treatments while reducing waiting lists. Our waiting times have reduced from five weeks to three weeks, although we've achieved this with a heavy workload on our machines."

This workload increased shortly after the new machine arrived, when an older device at the only other Estonian radiotherapy hospital broke down and all that hospital's patients were transferred to the North Estonian Regional Hospital. "At present we are the only hospital in the country treating patients with a linear accelerator and we are extremely busy," said Maire Kuddu, chief radiation oncologist. Staff at the hospital are working double-shift on both machines as they attempt to cope with more than 130 patients a day.

Despite this heavy workload, the team has been able to introduce advanced IMRT for head and n
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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