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Spinal Cancer Patient Finds New Hope at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Date:6/22/2009

Doctors Now Using Novalis Tx(TM) Technology to Deliver Highly-Accurate Image-Guided Radiosurgery for Hard-to-Reach Tumors

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Karen Fry, 60, an administrator at UC Santa Cruz, was running out of options in her battle against metastatic breast cancer. A new tumor located in the sacrum, or upper part of the pelvis, was causing intense pain that was spreading and interfering with her ability to walk. Fry turned to a team of doctors at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), who are now using the Novalis Tx(TM) platform from Varian Medical Systems and BrainLAB to attack tumors with precisely-shaped high-energy X-ray beams.

Before arriving at PAMF, Fry received conventional radiation therapy treatments for the new tumor at another facility. This precluded re-treatment of the area with conventional radiation techniques. "They were worried about causing irrevocable damage to the spinal nerves and other organs like my bladder and bowel," Fry said. To finish the job, Fry's doctor referred her to PAMF, because Novalis Tx can accurately target a tumor while minimizing exposure of tissues and organs only a few millimeters away.

"My situation was very serious," said Fry. "The organs around the tumor couldn't tolerate any more radiation, and so the treatments had to be focused very precisely. Honestly, this felt like my last shot at being treated. But as they were describing what Novalis Tx can do, the clinicians at PAMF projected a positive, can-do attitude that really helped to restore my hopes for a positive outcome."

Fry's treatment was completed over a five-day period, in daily sessions that each took only about 20 minutes to complete. "After the first four sessions, I felt well enough to go back to work," added Fry. "On the last day of treatment, which fell on a Saturday, I left the center and was able to go on with my usual weekend activities."


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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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