MILAN, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A 54-year-old head & neck cancer patient has become the first person in Italy to be treated using a revolutionary new linear accelerator that can deliver radiotherapy twice as fast as conventional therapy machines. The Humanitas Clinic in Rozzano-Milan carried out the treatment last week, becoming only the third hospital in Europe to begin clinical treatments using TrueBeam™ from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR).
The patient, suffering from cancer of the rhino pharynx, received the required dose of radiotherapy in five treatment sessions using 2-arc RapidArc® radiotherapy, after which clinicians said his symptoms had alleviated considerably. "We are very satisfied with the progress to date and the patient appears to be responding well," says Dr. Marta Scorsetti, chief physician at the private clinic.
Dr. Scorsetti said the TrueBeam accelerator will be used to treat 50 patients a day and treatments will focus on hypo-fractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), in particular for liver and pancreatic cancer, non small-cell lung cancer and lymph-node metastases. "TrueBeam will enable us to offer treatments for different kinds of pathologies than have previously been possible with radiosurgery here at Humanitas," said Dr. Scorsetti. "In particular we will be able to treat patients with previously treated recurrences which could not have been re-treated otherwise."
According to Dr. Scorsetti, total bone marrow irradiation (TMI) is a good example of an innovative radiotherapy treatment made possible by TrueBeam. "We can provide fast total marrow irradiation with excellent quality using TrueBeam," she said, adding that clinicians at Humanitas intend to commence such treatments in November, using the TrueBeam device to deliver RapidArc with eight arcs and four isocenters. TMI is carried out during the treatment of multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells.
Dr. Scorsetti said TrueBeam has many new features that will enable her to offer cancer patients more advanced care. Designed to advance the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, and other types of cancer, the TrueBeam platform for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery was introduced by Varian in April as the first fully-integrated system designed from the ground up to treat a moving target with unprecedented speed and accuracy. RapidArc delivers a volumetric intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment in a single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver advanced image-guided IMRT two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. "We are impressed by the greater precision and higher quality imaging, higher possible dose rate, the ability to deliver the total dose in fewer fractions and the speed of the treatment, which allows for more patient comfort with shorter treatment sessions," she added.
Humanitas, one of the biggest hospitals in the Milan urban area, serves up to three million people and treats 150 patients a day in the radiotherapy department. The clinic has specialized in head stereotactic radiotherapy for primary and metastatic brain tumors, along with breast cancer, lung and gastro-intestinal tumors. Approximately 1800 new patients are treated each year from the Lombardy region and throughout Italy.
Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, 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 and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 5,200 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com.
SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.