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Premion First in Australia to Treat Cancer Patients with RapidArc(R) Radiotherapy Technology from Varian Medical Systems
Date:9/16/2009

BRISBANE, Australia, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cancer patients in Australia have gained access to advanced RapidArc(R) radiotherapy treatments from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) with its introduction by the leading radiation oncology provider in Queensland. Premion, which operates five cancer centers in Queensland, has treated more than a dozen prostate cancer patients to date with this fast, precise and efficient technique at its Chermside treatment center in Brisbane.

Dr. James MacKean, Premion's lead radiation oncologist for the RapidArc program, says, "With RapidArc, improved conformality and daily treatment set-up accuracy is combined with dynamic rotational arc treatments, keeping unwanted radiation doses away from nearby structures such as the rectum and bladder. Treatment times are reduced, which improves the overall patient experience."

"RapidArc, which we introduced after extensive testing, is combined with the latest generation Varian treatment machine incorporating advanced image-guidance technology,'' explains senior medical physicist Matthew Murray. "At Premion we have a great team of dedicated radiation therapists and medical physicists to ensure these advanced treatment techniques are delivered to the highest standards."

Premion, which treats cancer patients using ten linear accelerators at its five sites, says its RapidArc program at Chermside will expand to include the treatment of brain, head & neck and lung tumors in the near future.

Premion patient, 68-year-old Bob Major, received RapidArc treatment over an eight week period in July and August. "I found my treatment on the RapidArc-equipped machine excellent, I was in and out of the treatment room in minutes, the Premion staff were very professional and my urologist worked closely with Dr. MacKean to develop my treatment plan," he said.

RapidArc delivers a precise and efficient treatment in single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver image-guided intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. Faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery and, with less time on the treatment couch, also allow for greater patient comfort. Conventional IMRT treatments are slower and more difficult for radiotherapy radiographers because they target tumors using a complex sequence of fixed beams from multiple angles.

"The philosophy of Premion at all five of our locations is to offer Queensland and northern New South Wales patients the full range of state-of-the-art facilities in a friendly, efficient and caring environment," added Dr. MacKean. "'We strive to avoid waiting lists and improve patient access."

Stuart Hamilton, Varian's regional sales director, adds, "Premion is continually striving to offer more advanced treatments for the benefit of cancer patients and we are delighted to be working with Premion to introduce RapidArc in Australia. Since the introduction of the technique in the US and Europe last year, more than 100 cancer centers worldwide have introduced this approach, improving the patient experience while maximizing treatment precision."

Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068, and Cameron Scott, Premion, + 3326 9513

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 http://www.varian.com/

About Premion

Premion, based in south-east Queensland, is Queensland's largest private radiation therapy providers, having provided approximately 100,000 patient treatments since commencing operations in 1988. With 14 Radiation Oncologists, Premion employs over 150 full time, part time and casual staff, and offers a comprehensive range of clinical services across its five treatment facilities: in Brisbane at Chermside and at The Wesley Hospital (Auchenflower); on the Gold Coast at Southport and John Flynn Private Hospital (Tugun); and on the Sunshine Coast at Nambour. For more information, visit http://www.premion.com.au


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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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