Sri Lanka to Enter Modern Radiotherapy Age with Country's First Medical Linear Accelerator

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Dec. 11 // -- Cancer patients in Sri Lanka will benefit from modern radiotherapy treatments with the installation of the country's first medical linear accelerator at the National Cancer Centre. The high energy Clinac(R) accelerator from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) will enable highly conformal radiotherapy treatments to be offered to patients when it is installed late next year.

The machine, ordered as part of a project funded by the Sri Lankan health ministry, will bring added treatment capabilities to the hospital, which now uses Cobalt devices for delivering radiotherapy.

Dr. Neelamani Paranagama, deputy director of the National Cancer Centre, says the decision demonstrates the Sri Lankan government's commitment to upgrade the country's radiotherapy facilities. "This will enable us to deliver the most modern treatments, such as intensity modulated radiotherapy," she says. "We have not had that capability so far in this country."

With Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), clinicians are able to shape the treatment beam to precisely match the proportions of the tumor, thereby providing greater protection for the surrounding healthy tissue and the critical organs from exposure to radiation. Using this approach, the volume of dose can also be varied across the tumor, ensuring the more metabolically active parts of the tumor receive the most radiation.

The new machine forms part of a 700 million Sri Lanka Rupees ($6.5M) project to construct a new, fully-equipped radiotherapy department at the NCC, the country's largest hospital dedicated to treating cancer. Construction work began in September.

The foundation stone for the project was officially laid by the Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Sri Lanka's Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, who explained that the urbanization and change of lifestyle in the country over recent years had resulted in rising cancer rates. He also said the intention was for the National Cancer Centre, based in the Colombo suburb of Maharagama, to become an internationally-recognized center of excellence.

Dr H.A.P. Kahandaliyanage, Sri Lanka's director general of health services, added that the new equipment will fulfill a dire need to increase the quality of cancer care available to relieve the suffering of the country's cancer patients. "The accuracy and precision of this new machine will see a vast improvement in treatments and it will soon be commissioned to make such services available free to all patients in Sri Lanka, who would have had to seek such services abroad in the past," said Dr. Kahandaliyanage.

Varian Medical Systems is the world leader in radiotherapy for treating cancer. More than 4,700 of its advanced Clinac and Trilogy(R) accelerators are installed around the world, treating 100,000 patients per day. Linear accelerators deliver high energy X-rays to cancerous tumors, including those in the lung, prostate, breast, head and neck, brain, and many other locations.

About Varian Medical Systems

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading manufacturer of medical products for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, brachytherapy, and radiosurgery. The company is also a premier supplier of X-ray tubes and digital detectors for imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 3,900 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

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Source: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.

CONTACT: media, Neil Madle of Varian Medical Systems, +44-7786-526068, or

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