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Varian Medical Systems to Exhibit Full Spectrum of Prostate Cancer Treatment Technologies at the American Urological Association Meeting in Chicago
Date:4/24/2009

Company will showcase technologies for brachytherapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), RapidArc(TM) radiotherapy, and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) will showcase the company's full spectrum of prostate cancer treatment technologies at the upcoming American Urological Association (AUA) Meeting at McCormick Place in Chicago from April 25-30.

"Varian offers state-of-the-art technology for all five of the commonly-used radiotherapy approaches to treating prostate cancer," said Calvin Huntzinger, MS, senior director, Varian Surgical Sciences. "At the AUA meeting, we'll be exhibiting our latest solutions for high-dose-rate brachytherapy, planning for low-dose brachytherapy with permanent seed implants, 3-D conformal radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)." Each is a different approach to targeting prostate tumors with radiation.

"By offering technology for all radiotherapy treatment techniques, Varian is giving doctors and patients the option of deciding the best approach for treating each case," Huntzinger said. "That is where the decision belongs."

Varian recently produced a "Clinical Perspectives" paper entitled Early-stage prostate cancer treatment alternatives, highlighting research that contrasts these and other approaches to prostate cancer treatment.

"The paper summarizes the results of clinical studies on the treatment of prostate cancer," Huntzinger said. "It shows that surgery doesn't always eliminate the cancer, and it has other significant acute and chronic side effects. Non-invasive external beam radiotherapies can be quite effective, but the high doses needed for controlling cancer must be delivered with great care to minimize the exposure of surrounding healthy tissues to avoid unwanted side effects. Brachytherapy is a faster, invasive approach that can be quite effective provided that care is taken to minimize urinary complications. No approach is perfect; each one involves some kind of trade-off."

Varian Technologies for Treating Prostate Cancer

Varian will be showcasing the following radiotherapy solutions at the AUA meeting:

  • The VariSource(TM) and GammaMed(TM) lines of HDR brachytherapy afterloaders, a computer-controlled device for guiding a needle or catheter as it places a radiation source directly into a tumor and holds it there for a prescribed period of time while the dose is delivered.
  • VariSeed(TM) brachytherapy treatment planning software, which facilitates the permanent implantation of tiny radioactive seeds, each the size of a grain of rice, directly into the prostate.

Also showcased will be the Novalis Tx(TM) platform for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery, a suite of tools made by Varian and BrainLAB for delivering external beam radiotherapies including 3-D conformal, IMRT, RapidArc(TM) radiotherapy, and SBRT.

"The Novalis Tx platform can be used to treat prostate cancer with either image-guided IMRT, the current gold standard of care in radiation oncology, or with stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), an emerging and promising new approach that is being actively studied in clinical trials at a number of treatment centers," said Huntzinger. "If, as the data matures, we find that SBRT improves on outcomes for all or even some forms of early-stage prostate cancer, treatment centers with Novalis Tx technology will be in a great position to offer this type of treatment more routinely."

Novalis Tx can also deliver RapidArc(TM) radiotherapy, making it possible to complete an IMRT or SBRT treatment very quickly by dosing the entire tumor volume with a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient.

"Varian is committed to putting state-of-the-art treatment tools into clinicians' hands," said Dow Wilson, president of Varian's Oncology Systems business. "Our goal is to make sure that, whatever prostate cancer treatment approach is chosen, Varian devices are there to deliver the best results technology can offer."

The American Urological Association Meeting will take place at McCormick Place in Chicago, April 25-30. For more information about these and other Varian cancer treatment technologies, please visit www.varian.com.

ABOUT VARIAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS, INC.

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 BRAINLAB

BrainLAB develops, manufactures and markets software-driven medical technology that enables procedures that are more precise, less invasive, and also less expensive than traditional treatments. Among the core products are image-guided systems that provide highly accurate real-time information used for navigation during surgical procedures. This utility has been further expanded to serve as a computer terminal for physicians to more effectively access and interpret diagnostic scans and other digital medical information for better informed decisions. BrainLAB solutions allow expansion from a single system to operating suites to digitally integrated hospitals covering all subspecialties from neurosurgery, orthopedics, ENT, CMF to spine & trauma and oncology. With 3300 systems installed in over 75 countries, BrainLAB is a market leader in image-guided technology. The privately held BrainLAB group, founded in 1989, is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and today employs 1000 people in 16 offices across Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America. For more information, visit www.brainlab.com.

    FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Meryl Ginsberg, (650) 424-6444
    meryl.ginsberg@varian.com


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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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