Technology | May 18, 2010

Proton Therapy Becoming More Accessible to U.S. Patients

A proton therapy treatment vault at the Rinecker Proton Therapy Center (RPTC) in Munich, Germany.

May 18, 2010 - Proton beam therapy is becoming more accessible in the United States.

While proton beam therapy has proved to be more precise in delivering dose to tumors compared to conventional external beam radiation, the larger proton beam accelerator is more expensive, and the process requires special training.

However, recent advances in the technology is making it more accessible. Varian Medical Systems is introducing the fully-integrated ProBeam proton therapy system at the 2010 Particle Therapy Co-operative Group (PT-COG) meeting here this week. ProBeam is designed to simplify the proton therapy treatment process for clinicians and patients alike.

The system incorporates imaging, gating, robotic patient positioning, treatment planning and oncology information software to enhance treatment quality for patients and workflow efficiency for clinicians.

The integrated system can be used for all forms of advanced proton therapy, including image-guided proton therapy and intensity-modulated proton therapy.

The ProBeam system incorporates Dynamic Peak integrated scanning technology, which is designed to paint a precise radiation dose on the target volume, enabling intensity modulated proton therapy. The system also incorporates proprietary pencil-beam scanning technology, which allows for precise dose distribution.

Using Varian's 250 MeV super-conducting cyclotron and features, the ProBeam system includes a streamlined treatment console with a modern, graphical interface that consolidates all controls for imaging, treatment and motion management. Treatment process and workflows use a follow the light-guidance system that is designed to enhance usability and promote safety by guiding therapists through the steps of even the most complex treatments.

The ProBeam interface has the same design as Varian's recently-announced TrueBeam system for radiation therapy and TrueBeam STx system for radiosurgery.

For more information: www.varian.com

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