Varian Medical Systems, Inc., (Varian Medical Systems), a California-based supplier of X-ray tubes and flat panel digital X-ray image detectors, will exhibit its full range of prostate cancer treatment technologies at the upcoming American Urological Association (AUA) Meeting at McCormick Place in Chicago from April 25-30.
Varian Medical Systems Technologies for Treating Prostate Cancer
The company will be showcasing the following radiotherapy solutions at the AUA meeting:
— The VariSource and GammaMed lines of HDR brachytherapy afterloaders, a computer-controlled device for guiding a needle or catheter as it places a radiation source directly into a tumor and holds it there for a prescribed period of time while the dose is delivered.
— VariSeed brachytherapy treatment planning software, which facilitates the permanent implantation of tiny radioactive seeds, each the size of a grain of rice, directly into the prostate.
— Novalis Tx platform for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery, a suite of tools made by Varian and BrainLAB for delivering external beam radiotherapies including 3-D conformal, IMRT, RapidArc radiotherapy, and SBRT.
“The Novalis Tx platform can be used to treat prostate cancer with either image-guided IMRT, the current gold standard of care in radiation oncology, or with stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), an emerging and promising new approach that is being actively studied in clinical trials at a number of treatment centers,” said Huntzinger. “If, as the data matures, we find that SBRT improves on outcomes for all or even some forms of early-stage prostate cancer, treatment centers with Novalis Tx technology will be in a great position to offer this type of treatment more routinely.”
Novalis Tx can also deliver RapidArc radiotherapy, making it possible to complete an IMRT or SBRT treatment very quickly by dosing the entire tumor volume with a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient.
“Varian is committed to putting state-of-the-art treatment tools into clinicians’ hands,” said Dow Wilson, president of Varian’s Oncology Systems business. “Our goal is to make sure that, whatever prostate cancer treatment approach is chosen, Varian devices are there to deliver the best results technology can offer.”
“Varian offers state-of-the-art technology for all five of the commonly-used radiotherapy approaches to treating prostate cancer,” said Calvin Huntzinger, MS, senior director, Varian Surgical Sciences. “At the AUA meeting, we’ll be exhibiting our latest solutions for high-dose-rate brachytherapy, planning for low-dose brachytherapy with permanent seed implants, 3-D conformal radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT).” Each is a different approach to targeting prostate tumors with radiation.
“By offering technology for all radiotherapy treatment techniques, Varian is giving doctors and patients the option of deciding the best approach for treating each case,” Huntzinger said. “That is where the decision belongs.”
Recently, Varian Medical Systems produced a “Clinical Perspectives” paper entitled Early-stage prostate cancer treatment alternatives, highlighting research that contrasts these and other approaches to prostate cancer treatment.
“The paper summarizes the results of clinical studies on the treatment of prostate cancer,” Huntzinger said. “It shows that surgery doesn’t always eliminate the cancer, and it has other significant acute and chronic side effects. Non-invasive external beam radiotherapies can be quite effective, but the high doses needed for controlling cancer must be delivered with great care to minimize the exposure of surrounding healthy tissues to avoid unwanted side effects. Brachytherapy is a faster, invasive approach that can be quite effective provided that care is taken to minimize urinary complications. No approach is perfect; each one involves some kind of trade-off.”