ZURICH, April 16 The University Hospital of Zurich has become the first medical center in the world to commence treating cancer patients with the revolutionary TrueBeam(TM) system from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), a new platform for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery that was designed from the ground up to treat a moving target with unprecedented speed and precision.
One of two of the world's premier cancer centers to install a TrueBeam system in advance of its formal introduction to the world last week, the University of Zurich began using the system clinically in March of this year. Since then, doctors there have delivered treatments for prostate and lung cancer, as well as schwannomas (benign nerve sheath tumors), brain, and spinal metastases.
"We are finding the system technically wonderful, giving us dose distributions that are slightly superior to IMRT from a conventional system, with lower doses to surrounding healthy tissues," said Professor Urs M. Lutolf, M.D., clinical director and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Zurich University Hospital. "I have been astonished and excited to see the degree to which the image isocenter matches the beam isocenter, at a level of precision I have never seen before."
Two patients with vestibular schwannomas were the first to receive RapidArc(TM) stereotactic radiosurgery treatments on the hospital's new TrueBeam system. At the highest dose delivery rate available on the system, these treatments took just over 1.6 minutes to deliver--treatments that would require 6-8 minutes at conventional dose delivery rates. "It's a quarter of the time we needed for this tupe of treatment before," said Dr. Lutolf. In addition, these treatments took advantage of the system's ability to deliver RapidArc treatments from a flexible range of angles to maximize the dose to the targeted tumor and avoid important nearby critical structures.
Dr. Lutolf said while early TrueBeam treatments were focusing on prostate and schwannomas, there are plans to extend treatments for lung and upper GI tract cancers such as pancreas and gall bladder, along with palliative treatments where he described the precision of the TrueBeam system as 'imperative' in reducing side effects. "The experience so far is of better precision delivered in considerably less time," he said. "It is very satisfying to monitor the treatment while it's underway, as you can see the prostate markers are not moving even a millimeter."
"Clinical tools and processes have been re-implemented from scratch into the TrueBeam design," observed Jan Hrbacek, scientific collaborator at Zurich University Hospital. "This strategy has simplified a wide spectrum of activities, while increasing the accuracy of performed processes and our control over them." he said.
Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068
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 5,100 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, China, and Europe and in its 79 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/.
TrueBeam has previously been referred to as Trilogy Mx.
SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.