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Novel MR-guided radiation therapy platform highlighted at ASTRO meeting

ATLANTA, Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IMRIS Inc. (NASDAQ: IMRS; TSX: IM) and Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) today announced that data presented here earlier this week at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting demonstrates the potential to direct state-of-the-art radiation treatments using diagnostic-quality MR images at each treatment session.

In a presentation to radiation oncology clinicians from around the globe, David Jaffray, PhD, a world-renowned radiation physicist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Director of the Techna Institute at the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, described a dedicated MR-guided radiation therapy suite that will allow a magnetic resonance (MR) scanner mounted on ceiling rails to perform MR-guided brachytherapy and external beam radiation delivery. Currently being installed at his institution, this unprecedented combination is a joint development combining IMRIS' MR imaging with Varian's TrueBeam® system for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery.

"Tightly integrating MR imaging with treatment is expected to allow us to increase the accuracy of radiation delivery and pursue research in the emerging field of adaptive radiation therapy – the next level of image-guided radiotherapy that seeks to modify the treatment in response to changes in patient anatomy," said Jaffray. The team at the Princess Margaret has been performing research on the use of MR in radiation therapy as well as studying how the MR and radiation treatment technologies can be made compatible.

"While it is premature to speak to the clinical benefits of the development," he added, "the technical advantage of enhanced visualization of the tumor and normal tissues at the time of treatment opens many possibilities." The Princess Margaret team is planning to explore the system's use in the treatment of prostate, gynecological, and liver cancers, he said.

IMRIS and Varian are co-developing the MR-guided radiation therapy system that combines IMRIS's proprietary MR imaging technology with Varian's TrueBeam system to enable the use of MR imaging during radiotherapy treatments for cancer.  The two companies are collaborating with the team at The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and UHN's Techna Institute in Toronto to develop the system, which is not cleared for sale in any jurisdiction at this time.

IMRIS (NASDAQ: IMRS; TSX: IM) is a global leader in providing image guided therapy solutions through its VISIUS Surgical Theatre – a revolutionary, multifunctional surgical environment that provides unmatched intraoperative vision to clinicians to assist in decision making and enhance precision in treatment. The multi-room suites incorporate diagnostic quality high-field MR, CT and angio modalities accessed effortlessly in the operating room setting. VISIUS Surgical Theatres serve the neurosurgical, spinal, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular markets and have been selected by 54 leading medical institutions around the world.

For further information, please contact:
Kelly McNeill
Chief Financial Officer
Tel: 763-203-6304

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, 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, digital detectors, and image processing workstations for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6350 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 or follow us on Twitter.

Meryl Ginsberg
Director of Public Relations
Varian Medical Systems
Tel: 650-996-7487

SOURCE Varian Medical Systems
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