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New Mexico Doctors Now Treating Brain and Prostate Cancer With RapidArc Radiotherapy Technology
Date:3/16/2009

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Gary Troutman, a 51-year old man with a tumor in his brain, was the first New Mexico resident to receive a RapidArc(TM) stereotactic radiotherapy treatment earlier this month at the New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque. The stereotactic radiotherapy treatment utilizing RapidArc technology, developed by Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), enabled doctors to target Troutman's tumor faster and more accurately than was possible with earlier treatment technologies.

To treat a metastatic brain tumor believed to have spread from an earlier bout with lung cancer, Troutman received five stereotactic radiotherapy treatments over a two week period, the last three of which were delivered using RapidArc. "With RapidArc, we were able to cut his treatments from 50 minutes to ten minutes," said Bryan Goss, MD, radiation oncologist. "That's 40 minutes he did not have to spend immobilized in the treatment room."

Troutman said, "You never know what the future holds, but I feel really fortunate to be here after two bouts with cancer."

The New Mexico Cancer Center has also used RapidArc radiotherapy to treat prostate cancer. John Sadler, 60, was the first patient at the center to receive RapidArc treatment for prostate cancer. His was a course of image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), delivered five days a week for eight weeks. He was midway through his course of treatment when the doctors at the New Mexico Cancer Center started using RapidArc.

"When the doctors switched over to RapidArc, I was grateful because the treatments went by so fast," said Sadler, a veteran of the Gulf and Vietnam Wars. "Before then, my treatments were taking 20 minutes, and I was finding that very stressful. But when the process dropped to 90 seconds per treatment, I hardly had any time to think--it was over so quickly!"

"RapidArc really helped John get through his treatments easier," said Gregg Franklin, MD, radiation oncologist. "But there are other benefits to a speedier treatment. It can increase our accuracy because the chance of tumor motion is reduced when treatments are shorter."

Tumors can move during longer treatments, due to the natural movement of internal organs. For example, the prostate can shift by several millimeters as the bladder fills, which has the potential to compromise treatment accuracy. "In the case of prostate cancer, when a treatment takes only 90 seconds to deliver, we are better able to deliver the dose right where we want it and spare the surrounding healthy tissue," said Dr. Franklin.

RapidArc radiotherapy technology has now been used for the treatment of prostate, head and neck, lung, brain, spine, bone, gynecological, and soft tissue cancers. The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates show that, in 2008 there were 186,320 new cases of prostate cancer and 21,810 new cases of brain cancer in the United States.

About New Mexico Cancer Center

New Mexico Cancer Center (NMCC) is one of the largest physician-owned and operated cancer treatment centers in the Southwest, opened in 2002. NMCC is operated by New Mexico Oncology Hematology which is comprised of nine medical oncologists and four radiation oncologists who specialize in treating cancer and blood disorders. In addition to the main center in Albuquerque, NM, NMCC provides care in Gallup, Silver City, Rio Rancho, and Ruidoso. All physicians are board certified. Office hours are 8-5 Monday through Friday and most insurance is accepted. For more information on RapidArc, please call NMCC at (505) 842-8171 and ask for Bryan Goss, MD; Gregg Franklin, MD/PhD; or Joel Elconin, MD or visit our website at http://nmcancercenter.org.

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 http://www.varian.com/.

    FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
    John Worlton, Varian Medical Systems
    650-424-6438 or john.worlton@varian.com



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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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