Scottish Hospital to Offer Cancer Patients Advanced Radiotherapy Treatments With New Equipment and Software from Varian Medical Systems


GLASGOW, Scotland, July 17 / Cancer patients in Scotland will have access to the full range of state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatments with the acquisition of advanced new equipment and software by the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow as part of a purchasing wave by the Scottish Executive. Varian has been chosen to supply all the medical linear accelerators awarded to date within this centralised procurement managed by Scottish Healthcare Supplies.

When three new Varian Clinac® iX accelerators are installed at the amalgamated West of Scotland Cancer Centre early in 2007, it will become the largest radiotherapy unit in the United Kingdom, with eleven accelerators in total. Varian is also supplying the hospital with two On-Board Imager® devices for modern image guided radiotherapy (IGRT) treatments, three RPM(TM) respiratory gating systems, an Acuity® iX 3D imaging system for brachytherapy planning and verification and three GammaMed(TM) afterloaders for high dose rate (HDR) and pulsed dose rate (PDR) brachytherapy treatments.

The hospital is also installing Varian's advanced radiotherapy software with an upgraded VARiSVision information management network and ten new Eclipse(TM) treatment planning workstations.

Professor Alan Rodger, the Beatson's medical director, says, "This will give us the equipment base to offer our patients the full range of external beam and brachytherapy radiotherapy treatments. Our equipment choice was based on a very rigorous selection process that involved multi-disciplinary teams from across the hospital.

"We wanted the very best equipment to meet our needs, some level of future-proofing so that we do not buy machines that are antiques within two to three years, and value for money as well. This equipment is at the cutting edge of what radiotherapy has to offer and we are looking forward to working closely with Varian to expand the possibilities still further."

As part of the hospital's research and development efforts, the Beatson Research Fund has funded a physicist, a radiographer and a clinician to advance research into IGRT and respiratory gating using one of the new machines. Image Guided Radiotherapy enables more precise tumor targeting through better imaging and automatic patient repositioning on a daily basis and respiratory gating enables clinicians to time the treatment beam delivery in sync with the patient's normal breathing pattern. The centre will also be expanding its existing program of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), a more precise form of radiotherapy that enables clinicians to increase doses while reducing exposure to healthy surrounding tissue.

Through its new equipment acquisitions, the Beatson will be at the leading edge of Image-Guided Brachytherapy (IGBT), a relatively fast treatment in which doctors use advanced imaging capability to more precisely place radiation sources within tumors. The hospital is expanding its brachytherapy program with a new multi-room suite that will be equipped with Varian's Acuity(TM) imaging system as well as several new afterloaders for high dose rate and pulsed dose rate procedures. In addition to supporting brachytherapy, the new Acuity imaging system, which provides radiographic, fluoroscopic and 3D conebeam CT images, will be used for planning, simulating and verifying external beam treatments including IMRT and IGRT.

Walter Frei, head of Varian's Oncology Systems business in Europe, said, "The West of Scotland Cancer Centre will be among the largest and most prestigious of its type in Europe and our equipment will help the hospital to expand the range of radiotherapy options it can offer Scottish cancer patients. We look forward to continuing to support doctors and patients in Scotland."

The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, which has 60 percent of the Scottish population in its catchment area, will be housed in a single state-of-the-art unit at Gartnavel General Hospital by early next year. Phase 1 of the new centre, the Tom Wheldon building, is already in use and houses five linear accelerators. The second phase, currently under construction, brings together all oncology services currently spread across a number of sites in the North Glasgow area.

Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068, neil.madle@varian.com

About Varian Medical Systems

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading manufacturer of medical technology for treating cancer with radiotherapy and neurological conditions with radiosurgery. The company is also a premier supplier of X-ray tubes and flat-panel digital subsystems for imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 3,600 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 56 sales and support offices around the world. In Europe, the company operates manufacturing and engineering centers in Baden (Switzerland), Crawley (England), Haan (Germany), Helsinki (Finland) and Toulouse (France) and has headquarters for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEA) based in Zug, Switzerland. Additional information is available on the company's web site at http://www.varian.com/

Source: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.

CONTACT: Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44-7786-526068, neil.madle@varian.com

Web site: http://www.varian.com/

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