Varian Medical Systems Installs the Company's 500th Medical Linear Accelerator
Varian Medical Systems, a manufacturer of medical devices for treating cancer with image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery, recently installed its 500th medical linear accelerator in Japan at the Red Cross Kyoto Daiichi Hospital. The hospital acquired a Novalis Tx™ treatment machine plus Varian's latest Eclipse™ software for planning modern radiotherapy treatments that precisely target tumors and minimize dose to surrounding healthy tissues.
"The new system at the Red Cross Kyoto Daiichi Hospital is optimized for planning and delivering advanced treatments such as stereotactic radiosurgery," Makoto Yamada, director of sales and marketing for Varian in Japan, said in a statement. "It is the second Varian system to be put into service at that location. The hospital expects to commence using it for patient treatments in June. We were pleased to honor the clinical team with a commemorative plaque celebrating the 500th Varian machine in Japan, as well as the hospital's commitment to providing quality cancer care for the people of Japan."
The Novalis Tx medical linear accelerator is a sophisticated machine that rotates around a patient to deliver a treatment beam from multiple angles while sculpting the beam to match the shape of the tumor. In addition to conventional radiation therapy, it can deliver RapidArc® radiotherapy, and also stereotactic radiosurgery, a technique for delivering high dose treatment beams quickly to attack tumors from outside the body in just one to five treatment sessions. Patients can avoid the incisions associated with conventional surgery.
According to Seiichi Furuya, director of the Department of Radiation Therapy at the hospital, his team will use the new Novalis Tx machine primarily for the treatment of brain tumors. "We believe that we will be able to improve our brain cancer patients' post-treatment cognitive functioning by delivering treatments that minimize dose to the hippocampus,” Furuya said. “That's one of the important clinical advances I plan to implement using the Novalis Tx system.
"What makes this technology so valuable is the fact that you can use it for radiosurgery and conventional radiotherapy, so you do not need additional, expensive, dedicated radiosurgery machines that are more limited in their capabilities," Furuya adds. "Varian machines have a reputation for quality and for delivering a stable beam, which is essential for radiosurgery treatments that involve delivering high doses quickly and precisely."
The first Varian medical linear accelerator in Japan was installed at a site in Yokohama in 1991. Today, approximately 60 percent of the Varian machines in use in Japan are equipped with image-guidance capabilities, a recent innovation that improves tumor targeting by enabling clinicians to use 2-D and 3-D images to fine-tune the patient's position prior to treatment. About 30 percent of the Varian systems in Japan are equipped with RapidArc technology, another innovation that speeds up delivery of radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatments so that each system can benefit more patients each day.
In 2012, Varian established an education center in Tokyo to train Japanese radiation oncologists, medical physicists, and technologists who work with Varian's cancer treatment systems. The company set up a local contact center, or Help Desk, to provide phone support for customers in Japan. Varian has also funded a number of clinical research projects with major university and research hospitals in Japan over the years, one of which resulted in patented technology. These studies have covered topics ranging from clinical implementation of new radiotherapy techniques to methods of compensating for tumor motion during treatment, and have contributed to innovations that have been impactful in the field of radiation oncology.
"The 500th Varian system in Japan represents an important milestone in our ongoing commitment to our clinical partners in Japan," Kolleen Kennedy, president of Varian's Oncology Systems business, said in a statement. "We are pleased and proud to support the exemplary clinical and research efforts of the Japanese radiation oncology professional community."
Varian Medical Systems Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., is a leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes, digital detectors and image processing workstations for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,400 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world.