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First RapidArc Radiotherapy Treatment in Italy Takes Place at Leading Milan Cancer Center
Date:1/6/2009

MILAN, Italy, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A pancreatic cancer patient has become the first person in Italy to be treated using a new, faster form of radiotherapy that potentially enables doctors to improve outcomes while extending more advanced care to more patients. The Humanitas Clinic in Milan delivered the faster treatment using RapidArc(TM) radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR).

"We see three major benefits with RapidArc," added Dr. Marta Scorsetti, lead clinician at Humanitas. "The short treatment time -- under two minutes in this case -- decreases the chances of the patient moving during treatment, which helps to improve precision. RapidArc enables us to spare more healthy tissue from receiving unnecessary dose and we believe this additional precision will enable us to increase the dose, which should contribute to a higher cure rate."

With RapidArc, Varian's Clinac(R) medical linear accelerator can target radiation beams at a tumor while rotating continuously around the patient. Conventional intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatments are slower and more difficult for radiotherapy radiographers and patients because they target tumors using a complex sequence of fixed beams from multiple angles.

Dr. Scorsetti said, "The patient reacted very well to the new treatment and he was comfortable throughout the two minutes he was on the treatment table. As the overall treatment time was reduced, we will be able to treat more patients and consequently reduce waiting times."

Dr. Scorsetti said pancreatic cancers are not traditional candidates for complex treatments with intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) but the introduction of RapidArc means that such patients as well as prostate and head and neck cancer patients can now receive the most advanced
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems
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