January 26, 2009 – Varian Medical System and BrainLAB are showcasing a new noninvasive surgical device for eradicating inoperable lung cancer and other conditions is being showcased this week at the 45th Annual Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Meeting in San Francisco, CA.
The Novalis Tx platform enables doctors to perform image-guided radiosurgery on tumors of the lung, as well as of the brain, spine, liver and prostate, without making a single incision.
Novalis Tx performs stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), a form of noninvasive radiosurgery that uses precisely-shaped and targeted radiation beams to treat tumors and nonmalignant growths from outside the body.
"Novalis Tx is a versatile device for performing fast, noninvasive, image-guided radiosurgery," says Naren Ramakrishna, M.D., Ph.D., with Dana Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center in Boston.
Early studies comparing SBRT with conventional radiotherapy - the treatment that is most often prescribed for patients with inoperable lung tumors - suggest that SBRT can result in a better survival rate. Only 10-30 percent of inoperable lung cancer patients who receive conventional radiotherapy survive for five years. While five-year data is not yet available for SBRT, the survival rate at three years has ranged from 54 to 91 percent. These results have encouraged the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), a multi-institutional, international organization that coordinates clinical research in radiation oncology, to sponsor a phase II trial of stereotactic body radiosurgery for the treatment of early-stage lung cancer--both operable and inoperable.
"Preliminary studies suggest that stereotactic body radiation offers us a good chance of achieving 85 to 90 percent local tumor control rates in the treatment of early-stage lung cancer," says Martin Fuss, M.D., director of the image-guided radiation therapy program at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Dr. Fuss began using Novalis Tx to perform radiosurgery on patients with lung and other forms of cancer last October.