New technology now being used to treat nasopharyngeal and other cancers; stereotactic radiosurgery program for select cancers coming in June
HONG KONG - Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital (PYNEH) in Hong Kong has become the first medical center in Asia to treat cancer using a TrueBeam™2.0 system for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery. Installation of the new system, which was provided by Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), was completed in February of this year and clinicians began by using it to deliver highly precise intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for the treatment of nasopharyngeal and many other forms of cancer.
"With the TrueBeam system we are completing IMRT treatments twice as quickly and with greater accuracy than was possible with our previous technology," said Rebecca Yeung, M.D., Chief of Service for the PYNEH Clinical Oncology Department. "We have now deployed advanced TrueBeam 2.0 features that enable image-guided stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiotherapy, innovative approaches for treating brain and lung cancer. We launched that program in March of this year."
TrueBeam was designed to treat tumors with great speed and accuracy. The system uniquely integrates and orchestrates imaging, patient positioning, motion management, and treatment delivery during sophisticated treatments for cancer such as IMRT, which shapes the treatment beam so that it matches the shape of the targeted tumor and minimizes exposure of surrounding healthy tissues. The TrueBeam system's high dose delivery rates make it possible to complete treatments very quickly, potentially enabling clinics to treat more patients each day and to improve precision by leaving less time for tumor motion during dose delivery.
The latest upgrade, TrueBeam 2.0, adds new image-guidance and motion management capabilities including real-time tumor tracking for tumors that move during treatment, as well as a low-dose imaging option that minimizes the X-ray dose to patients during image-guided treatments. Other features include robust tools for accurately positioning the patient for treatment based on two- and three-dimensional images, enhanced ability to generate and analyze moving images to verify that tumor motion is consistent, and greater automation of sophisticated treatment processes. All of these capabilities have the potential to increase treatment accuracy and the potential for better clinical outcomes.
"TrueBeam is fast and accurate. This level of accuracy becomes particularly important when we are delivering stereotactic radiosurgery, a method of using high doses to quickly treat tumors that are adjacent to critical structures like the brainstem or spinal cord," said Dr. Yeung. "For treating lung tumors, the system offers 4-D imaging that shows tumor motion over time due to the patient's breathing. It can generate images throughout a treatment to make sure that the tumor hasn't drifted out of targeting range. These features make it especially appropriate for treating lung cancer—because lung tumors are often in constant motion."
The clinical team at PYNEH hosted a scientific symposium on May 17, in order to educate the wider clinical community about the appropriate uses of stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic body radiotherapy, and other cancer treatment modalities enabled by the TrueBeam 2.0 system.
Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital is a major acute care hospital serving the eastern district of Hong Kong Island. Established in 1993, it is 1829-bed facility with a staff of over 3,000. In 2008, the Department of Clinical Oncology became the first treatment center in Asia to offer RapidArc® radiotherapy. Its clinicians provide treatment for some 2,200 oncology patients each year, the majority are breast, lung, colorectal, or head and neck cancer cases.
"Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital has long been an important partner for us," said Kevin Lo, director of Asia Pacific marketing for Varian. "The site serves as a Varian Reference Center for Education, helping to train clinical professionals from across Asia in implementing advanced radiotherapy programs using Varian technology. We commend them for their ongoing commitment to providing cancer patients with access to advanced treatment."
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, 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 software and 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. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,500 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 or follow us on Twitter.
For Information Contact:
Meryl Ginsberg, 650-424-6444
Varian Medical Systems