News | August 25, 2009

Sweden Taps Varian for New Proton Therapy Center

August 26, 2009 - The Swedish government have selected Varian Medical Systems to equip a new proton therapy center in Sweden.

In the deal, Varian will supply an estimated $60 million in products for Skandionkliniken, a new national proton therapy center owned by a consortium of seven of Sweden's counties. The center is scheduled to open in 2013. Varian hopes to book the order for the project before the end of the fiscal year upon review and approval of the tender process.

Public officials representing Skandionkliniken publicly announced the award here on Aug. 19 when they met with Varian Medical Systems management to sign the contract. Skandionkliniken is the first clinical center for proton therapy in Scandinavia. This project marks the first time Varian will provide a full installation for managing, planning and delivering proton therapy.

Skandionkliniken, which will have two full treatment rooms as well as a fixed beam room for quality assurance and research activities, is expected to treat 1,000 patients per year in phase 1, and gradually expand to the full capacity of 2,500 patients per year. Varian will equip the center with a fully integrated system including its superconducting cyclotron, a beam line, and treatment room gantries as well as its ARIA software for information management and its Eclipse software for treatment planning. Varian will also have a five-year service agreement valued at approximately $25 million.

Varian's technology for spot scanning was reportedly a decisive factor in chossing Varian as a supplier, according to Leif Lyttkens, Managing Director of Skandionkliniken. Spot scanning makes it possible to deliver intensity-modulated proton therapy to concentrate the dose on the targeted tumor while sparing normal healthy tissues.

Proton therapy aims to treat cancer more effectively and with fewer side effects than with conventional radiation therapy. With proton therapy, the risk of damage to healthy tissues is minimized. The method can be applied for the most common types of cancer and offers advantages when treating tumors close to radiosensitive tissues. In pediatric patients the risk of developing a new, radiation-induced cancer later in life is reduced. Skandionkliniken expects that most of the children in need of radiotherapy will be offered proton treatments.

The project marks the first time that the seven Swedish counties, representing eight university hospitals, have made a joint investment in a national center for cancer treatment. Under this collaborative model, university hospitals in each county will manage and plan proton treatments locally, and treat their patients at the new center.

The proton therapy consortium, called "The Joint Authority of County Councils for Advanced Radiation Therapy," was formed by the seven counties in 2006. The seven counties are: Uppsala, Ostergotland, Skane, Stockholm, Vasterbotten, Vastra Gotaland and Orebro. All eight University Hospitals in Sweden (Uppsala, Linkoping, Lund, Malmo, Stockholm, Umea, Goteborg and Orebro) will treat patients at Skandionkliniken. The public tender for the proton therapy system was issued in 2008.

For more information: www.varian.com

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