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Fast and Precise RapidArc® Radiotherapy Treatments Introduced for Benefit of Cancer Patients in Greece

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Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
3100 Hansen Way
Palo Alto, CA, 94304

Press release date: April 2, 2014

Athens, Greece – A 37-year-old patient with advanced tongue cancer has become the first person in Greece to be treated using fast and precise RapidArc® radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems.  The pioneering treatment took place at Metropolitan Hospital in the south of Athens.

The RapidArc capabilities, which were installed on one of the hospital's two Varian Clinac® radiotherapy treatment machines, deliver precise image-guided IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy) up to four times faster than was possible with earlier generations of technology. With RapidArc, the machine quickly delivers the treatment while continuously rotating around the patient, and the beam is constantly shaped and reshaped during the rotation to match the shape and size of the tumor. RapidArc makes it possible to deliver these sophisticated treatments in as little as two minutes. Studies show that faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery.

According to radiation oncologist Dr. Johannes Athanasios Dimopoulos, conventional IMRT for head and neck cancer patients is usually performed with static beams delivered from nine different angles over a 15-20 minute time period. "RapidArc significantly reduces the treatment time without compromising on the quality of the treatment," said Dr. Dimopoulos.

"RapidArc will contribute greatly to the number of patients who will be treated each day with more advanced radiotherapy techniques," adds medical physicist Panagiotis Zaverdinos. "We plan to treat over twenty patients each day using RapidArc, focusing mainly on head & neck and prostate cancer patients."

Metropolitan Hospital, which was established in 2008, treats 700 patients with radiotherapy each year. Over half of these patients receive advanced curative radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatments.
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