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Varian Medical Systems Introduces Fast and Precise Brachytherapy Planning System at GEC-ESTRO in Portugal
Date:5/14/2009

BrachyVision Acuros Enables Superior Dose Calculation with Unmatched Speed

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., May 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A significantly more accurate* way of calculating the dosimetry of cancer treatments will be introduced by Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) at the GEC-ESTRO exhibition in Porto, Portgual, on May 14-16. BrachyVision(TM) Acuros(TM) enables clinicians to rapidly calculate patient doses for brachytherapy treatments (a form of radiotherapy) with an extremely high level of accuracy.

"This is a quantum leap forward in terms of accuracy with timeframes that were previously thought 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."

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 Sophie 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 for the first time at GEC-ESTRO.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Varian Medical Systems in introducing the Acuros technology to the clinic," says Gregory Failla, chief executive officer of Transpire, Inc. "Varian's leading position in the worldwide radiation oncology market ensures that the maximum number of patients will benefit from the improved treatment quality made possible by BrachyVision Acuros."

Todd Wareing, Transpire's chief technology officer, adds, "The release of BrachyVision Acuros marks the culmination of decades of research, first at Los Alamos National Laboratory and then at Transpire, in the development of rapid and accurate alternatives to traditional Monte Carlo based methods."

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.

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 and Europe and in its 79 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/

About Transpire, Inc.

Transpire, Inc., headquartered in Gig Harbor, WA, specializes in the development and application of software for accurately predicting the macroscopic behaviour of radiation. Transpire's Attila(R) software is being used worldwide by engineers and scientists for a diverse range of applications including homeland security, fusion research, radiological safety, shielding design, medical physics, and reactor analysis. Transpire is a spin-off from Los Alamos National Laboratory, and in 2008 the Company's co-founders were recipients of the prestigious Federal Laboratory Consortium award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. Transpire has an ISO-9001:2000 certified quality management system. http://www.transpireinc.com.


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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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