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Clinical Experts Describe Radiosurgical Advances for Brain, Breast, and Spinal Cancers

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Talks on major advances in radiosurgery and radiotherapy for treating cancer of the brain, breast, and spine, captured the attention of more than 800 clinicians at Varian Medical Systems' 2010 Annual Users Meeting, held recently in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in San Diego.  

Samuel Ryu, M.D., director of radiosurgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, reported that radiosurgery enabled him to reduce the tumor volume and improve neurological functioning for 80 percent of his patients with paraspinal tumors.  Dr. Ryu referred to his recently-published study about treating metastatic lesions of the spine using a single stereotactic radiosurgery, specifically when tumors are compressing the spinal cord and causing neurological problems(1).  "Although surgery followed by radiotherapy is the standard treatment for these cases, radiosurgery appears to be a viable noninvasive treatment option," he said.  "It offers rapid pain and neurologic relief, without the invasiveness and long recovery times associated with conventional surgery."  

Gated RapidArc for Breast Cancer Varian's Gated RapidArc® technology for managing respiratory motion made it possible to improve the protection of heart and lungs during treatments for cancer in the left breast, according Lucca Cozzi, PhD, head of research at the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland.   Cozzi demonstrated that treatment plans using Gated RapidArc are generally superior to plans using conventional IMRT in these cases.  "Respiratory gating is an excellent tool for cases where respiration is the dominant source of motion during treatment," Cozzi said, citing the results of a study that his team recently published, validating the reliability and accuracy of RapidArc dose delivery(2).

TrueBeam RadiosurgeryIt is possible to perform a brain radiosurgery procedure within 15 minutes using Varian's new TrueBeam™ system, according to Arno J. Mundt, MD, professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California, San Diego.  This type of treatment would typically take more than an hour using other systems for stereotactic radiosurgery.  "The actual 'beam on,' or treatment time, once we completed imaging, was only 61.8 seconds," Mundt said.   "We can perform these procedures very efficiently using TrueBeam to significantly reduce the time patients spend in treatment."  

About Varian Medical Systems

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California,  (NYSE: VAR) 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 5,200 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit

(1) Ryu S. et al.  Radiosurgical decompression of metastatic epidural compression. Cancer. 2010 May 1;116(9):2250-7.

(2) Nicolini G, Vanetti E, Clivio A, Fogliata A, Cozzi L.  Pre-clinical evaluation of respiratory-gated delivery of volumetric modulated arc therapy with RapidArc. Phys Med Biol. 2010 Jun 21;55(12):N347-57. Epub 2010 May 18.FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:Meryl Ginsberg, (650)

SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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