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Cancer Treatment Experts from Across Latin America Gather in Rio de Janeiro to Discuss Advances in Radiation Oncology
Date:7/11/2011

to 40 treatment sessions over five to seven weeks.  This "image-guided radiation therapy" (IGRT) is also being adopted in some of Brazil's leading clinics, including INCA and other institutions.  Many of them utilize technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR).

"Many of the presentations at this year's Congress were made by doctors from these institutions, who have now amassed considerable experience with image-guidance and IMRT," said Dr. de Araujo.  "Our hope is to continue to expand on the number of treatment centers fully equipped and capable of delivering these advanced forms of treatment, so that most people in Brazil requiring radiation therapy can gain access to this level of care."

Advances in beam shaping and image guided treatment have also given rise to another emerging approach for treating cancer.  Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), a technique that is spreading in both developed and developing countries around the world, involves delivery of higher doses with great precision more quickly, over just one to five treatment sessions rather than up to 40.  The shortened treatment times have the potential to improve access to care and to make treatment more cost effective for patients and treatment centers, without sacrifice in treatment outcomes.  Several of the presentations at this year's Congress covered the potential benefits of SBRT, which were also highlighted in a recent paper published by an international team of experts in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.(1)

"For the foreseeable future, the main goals of the Congress will be not only the administration of other scientific meetings about radiation technology and its benefits, but also to demonstrate the need for new radiotherapy centers in Brazil, properly equipped for cancer treatment," said Dr. Robson Ferrigno, the next President of SBRT.

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