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New Fast and Precise Treatment Planning System Among Varian Medical Systems Highlights at American Brachytherapy Society 2009 Meeting

BrachyVision Acuros, Enabling Superior Dose Calculation with Unmatched Speed, Unveiled at ABS 2009 in Toronto, Canada, May 31-June 2

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., May 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) will be demonstrating its full range of brachytherapy cancer treatment equipment and software at the American Brachytherapy Society meeting in Toronto, Canada, from May 31 to June 2. Varian's exhibit will include the new BrachyVision(TM) Acuros(TM) system, which offers a significantly more accurate* way of calculating the dosimetry of cancer treatments.

Launched at the GEC-ESTRO Show in Portugal earlier this month, BrachyVision Acuros enables clinicians to rapidly calculate patient doses for brachytherapy treatments with greater accuracy.

"This is a quantum leap forward in terms of accuracy with timeframes that were previously unimaginable," says Sophie Wetherall, Varian BrachyTherapy software product manager. "BrachyVision Acuros offers an improvement in dose calculation that will help clinicians make better decisions about dose to their patients and further their knowledge to make treatments more accurate."

The Medical Physics department at the University of Athens in Greece is among the institutions that assessed BrachyVision Acuros during its research phase, and publications on the subject have been submitted for peer review. Dr. Panos Papagiannis and his team were most impressed by the speed of the system.

"Being able to have a representation of the dose distribution in an inhomogeneous, bounded geometry in a matter of several minutes just didn't seem plausible until now," says Dr. Papagiannis. "We are confident that Acuros marks a significant improvement over current treatment planning systems."

"It's simple to introduce to a clinical setting because all settings are predefined and it's easy to learn. It allows us to be more confident in the dose distributions and dose statistics used in the treatment planning process and could very well be used for patients where brachytherapy is the sole treatment. It also works well for boost applications because the margins to tolerance levels of critical structures can be assessed more confidently."

Dose levels for brachytherapy have generally been calculated as if the sources are surrounded by water, whereas in reality a patient's anatomy contains many different materials such as bone, lung, tissue and air, as well as additional materials that are often present from inserted applicators. In the past the only way to account for this was using Monte Carlo calculation techniques, something that was only available as a research tool. Now, for the first time in routine clinical brachytherapy, BrachyVision Acuros is able to account for the dose effects from these variations.

"BrachyVision Acuros calculation times tend to average between three and eight minutes depending on the applicator used," adds Ms. Wetherall. "By comparison, the same calculations could take hours or days using the standard Monte Carlo method."

Acuros, developed by Transpire, Inc., is an optimized, radiotherapy-specific rewrite of the software product Attila(R), and Varian is working exclusively with Transpire to bring the benefits of this fast and precise calculation method to the radiation oncology field. In so doing, Varian becomes the only brachytherapy supplier with this capability in a commercially available product.

BrachyVision Acuros, which uses a technique best described as a 'Grid-Based Boltzmann Solver' (GBBS), is the most significant additional feature of Varian's latest brachytherapy treatment planning software offering, BrachyVision 8.8. The full system will be demonstrated on Booth 115 at ABS 2009, along with Varian's entire range of VariSource(TM) and GammaMed(TM) high dose rate afterloaders and accessories. Prior to the opening of the exhibition, Varian is hosting a Users Meeting on Saturday May 30.

Brachytherapy is a very well established form of radiotherapy which is used routinely to treat a wide range of cancers, including gynaecological, prostate, head & neck, skin and lung. It is often delivered in combination with external beam radiotherapy.

*Compared to standard techniques using the American Association of Physicists in Medicine TG43 formulism.

NOTE: Pending 510(k). Not available for sale within the United States. Not authorized for sale in Canada pending CE Marking. Not available for sale within the European Union.

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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