September 24, 2013 — Varian Medical Systems and Siemens Healthcare showcased a variety of solutions that bring together Siemens' world-class diagnostic imaging technologies with Varian's advanced therapeutic systems for treating cancer with image-guided radiotherapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy at the 54th annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
Connecting Varian's ARIA Software to Siemens Linear Accelerators
As part of their EnVision Better Cancer Care global strategic partnership, the two companies showcased Varian Exchange, a new interface for connecting Varian's Aria oncology information system with Siemens' Artiste medical linear accelerators. (Note: pending FDA clearance and not commercially available in the United States due to regulatory reasons, future availability cannot be guaranteed.)
Earlier this year, Varian and Siemens announced an interface that connected Aria with Siemens' Oncor and Primus accelerators. "That first phase of interface development enabled us to connect Aria with about 80 percent of Siemens treatment machines," said Karla Donohoe, vice president of strategic planning for Varian's oncology systems business. "With this new interface, we will have connectivity available for a full range of Siemens treatment machines, allowing us to offer a seamless solution for using them with Aria to deliver quality cancer care."
Varian Brachytherapy Powered by Siemens Sliding Gantry Imaging
Varian and Siemens will also showcase the pairing of a Siemens Somatom CT Sliding Gantry scanner with Varian brachytherapy technology to enable 3-D image-guided high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy procedures within a single treatment room.
HDR brachytherapy involves delivering radiotherapy from inside the body by temporarily placing a tiny radioactive source directly into the tumor or other targeted area. Using a robotic afterloader, clinicians place the radioactive source into positions through applicators that have been inserted into the area being treated.
"HDR brachytherapy treatments are planned using anatomical images of the targeted area taken after applicators have been put in place," said Tim Clark, marketing manager for Varian brachyTherapy. "The Siemens Sliding Gantry CT is ideal for use right in the brachytherapy treatment room, so the patient doesn't have to be moved to another room for scanning. It has the potential to minimize patient transport and possible applicator motion, which could compromise accuracy. Image quality is much superior to what is possible using conventional X-rays or ultrasound imaging."
Respiratory Gating and CT Imaging
Varian and Siemens also showcased the interoperability of a Siemens' CT scanner with Varian's Real-time Position Management (RPM) system. The brand new Biograph mCT Flow PET/CT scanner that Siemens will unveil at ASTRO also works in conjunction with Varian's RPM system.
"The RPM system, when used in conjunction with imaging, enables clinicians to understand how a tumor moves during a treatment," says Donohoe. "This makes it possible to compensate for tumor motion while planning and delivering radiotherapy treatments in the lung and other parts of the body that are subject to respiratory motion. By using these technologies together, cancer specialists can design and deliver treatments that minimize exposure of healthy tissues."
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