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New Brachytherapy Applicator for Endometrial Cancer Patients Introduced at ABS 2011 by Varian Medical Systems

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) is introducing a new brachytherapy applicator for treating endometrial cancer patients after a hysterectomy. The Capri™ applicator, aimed at increasing patient comfort and allowing clinicians to better sculpt the radiotherapy dose, is being exhibited this week at the annual American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) meeting in San Diego. The applicator can also be used for treatment of vaginal and rectal cancers.

Designed with the intention of improving patient comfort, it is a lightweight balloon applicator that is inflated upon insertion to adapt to each patient's anatomy and hold it in place during treatment.  Prior to the Capri applicator's development, the principle brachytherapy option for endometrial cancer patients involved inserting rigid cylinders which may require the fixation of the applicator to the treatment table. The Capri applicator is also compatible with CT imaging, which enables doctors to use it with 3-D imaging to plan their treatments and determine exactly where they want to deposit the dose. 

"We believe this applicator is a breakthrough for gynaecological treatments and will make a huge difference in treating post-hysterectomy endometrial cancer patients," says Ted Jackson, PhD., Varian BrachyTherapy's director of product development and engineering. "Our design is aimed at enhancing patient comfort and improving ease of use and we believe it has the potential to reduce the radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissues."

The Capri applicator has FDA clearance for gynaecological and rectal treatments in the US and is awaiting CE approval for sale in Europe.

Dr Rakesh Patel, the medical director of the Targeted Radiation Institute at Western Radiation Oncology (WRO) in Mountain View, CA. said the Capri applicator supports 3-D treatment planning capabilities for HDR (high-dose rate) vaginal brachytherapy.  "We expect that the result will be to significantly improve dose distribution by allowing us to reduce the exposure of the rectum and bladder," he says. "This feature combined with its design aimed at improving ease of use and patient comfort enhances the current methods for this type of treatment. From our clinical observations, the patients tolerate the treatment very well."

Brachytherapy involves treating cancer by temporarily placing radioactive sources within or adjacent to tumors. About half of all US endometrial cancer patients receive HDR (high dose rate) brachytherapy as the standard of care post-hysterectomy. Endometrial cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer and the majority of women require a hysterectomy as part of their treatment.  

Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068

Capri™ is a trademark of Varian Medical Systems  

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 5,400 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

SOURCE Varian Medical Systems
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