News | May 10, 2011

Proton Therapy Highlighted at Particle Therapy Conference

May 10, 2011 – Varian Medical Systems is highlighting its ProBeam proton therapy system and Eclipse treatment planning capabilities at the 2011 Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG) meeting from May 8-14 in Philadelphia.

"Intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) is the new frontier in proton therapy and has the potential to improve dose distributions in the same fashion that IMRT did for conventional X-ray radiotherapy," says Moataz Karmalawy, head of Varian's particle therapy group. "This means getting closer to the radiation therapy treatment goal of applying optimum dose to the cancerous tumor while sparing healthy tissue and organs at risk that lie in the beam's path."

"IMPT requires the integration of smart treatment planning and precise pencil-beam scanning delivery," adds Karmalawy. "We've achieved that by teaming up our market-leading Eclipse treatment planning software with our ProBeam delivery system." Eclipse recently received FDA 510(k) clearance for use with Varian's IMPT delivery systems in the United States.

The goal of IMPT is to shape the dose distribution so that it matches the shape of the targeted tumor in all three dimensions. An important feature of the latest Eclipse release is the ability to analyze the robustness of a treatment plan in terms of its ability to optimally cover the tumor and reduce dose to healthy tissues. "IMPT is especially beneficial for complex tumor shapes, such as head-and-neck tumors, tumors of the lower abdomen that have a curved shape, and tumors wrapped around the spinal cord or brain stem," says Karmalawy.

Varian's ProBeam system incorporates pencil-beam scanning technology, which optimizes the dose applied to every point within the area being treated. Several new ProBeam features will be demonstrated in the Varian booth, including a new user interface, a more compact robotic patient positioner and advanced imaging capabilities for precise patient setup verification and correction utilizing planar imaging and 3-D kV cone computer tomography (CT) imaging.

Varian has equipped the Rinecker Proton Therapy Centre (RPTC) in Munich, site of the world's first clinical IMPT treatments. Construction work is currently underway at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego, which will also be equipped with Varian hardware and software. The company has also been named preferred supplier for a number of other proton therapy ventures globally.

For more information: www.varian.com

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