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RapidArc Radiotherapy Technology Enabling Fast, Accurate Treatments for Pennsylvania Cancer Patients
Date:4/22/2009

Prostate and brain cancer patients were the first in the area to benefit

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Two patients, both in their 70s, have become the first people in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to receive a new, faster, more precise form of radiotherapy for cancer. A 72-year-old man was treated for prostate cancer, while a 70-year-old woman received treatment for a brain tumor at the base of her skull. Doctors at Lehigh Valley Hospital used RapidArc(TM) radiotherapy and image-guidance technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) to target their tumors with carefully shaped radiation beams.

"The prostate cancer patient's tumor was close to the bladder, rectum, and many other sensitive organs and tissues," said Charles Andrews, MD, radiation oncologist. "Using RapidArc, we are able to deliver treatments very quickly, concentrating the dose on the tumor while minimizing exposure of nearby sensitive structures."

For the patient with the brain tumor, Dr. Andrews was able to deliver a RapidArc treatment designed to minimize exposure of her eyes, pituitary gland, and other sensitive organs and tissues in the head and neck.

For both patients, the RapidArc treatments were much faster than would have been possible using earlier generations of technology. "With RapidArc, prostate cancer treatments that once took ten minutes to deliver can now be completed in just two minutes," Dr. Andrews said. "The typical set-up and treatment time for a brain cancer patient used to be about 40 minutes, but with RapidArc, we're completing these treatments in just over ten minutes."

As a result, cancer patients spend much less time immobilized on the treatment table. In addition to improving patient comfort, faster treatments help reduce the chance of tumor motion during treatment.
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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