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Two Swiss cancer centres install advanced radiotherapy equipment

Varian : 13 December, 2007  (New Product)
Two new Swiss private cancer centres have been equipped by Varian Medical Systems with state-of-the-art radiotherapy machines to enable local cancer patients to receive advanced treatments.
The high-energy Clinac linear accelerators at the Clinique de Genolier and the Genève Centre de Radio-Oncologie, will enable the doctors to start offering image guided advanced intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatments to patients. Both clinics are run by the Genolier Swiss Medical Network, which operates five hospitals in the Geneva region. The first patient was treated on the new machine at Geneva Eaux-Vives in September and the second machine will be installed at Genolier in February.

Both machines also come equipped with On-Board Imager IGRT (image guided radiotherapy) accessories which enable diagnostic quality images of the patient to be taken at the time of treatment and for the patient position to be adjusted accordingly, allowing even greater levels of precision.

Dr Jacques Bernier, head of radiation oncology, said, “Intensity modulation is extremely important with regards to better targeting of the tumour site and image-guidance will enable us to position the patient and get more reproducibility from one session to the next. The Clinac treatment machine already installed in Geneva is the first of its kind in the area to offer these advanced treatment capabilities and it will lead the way to a new standard of care in the region.

“We selected Varian because the quality of their equipment is very well known in this industry and, even though we looked at several options, Varian was clearly the first choice.”

Dr Bernier said the private centres had a good relationship with nearby university hospitals in Geneva and Lausanne and, although the majority of their patients would come from private practice, they would also accept public patients.

“There are currently long waiting lists in the public sector in Geneva and we are pleased to be complementary to the local university hospitals and develop a strategy of collaboration at both clinical and scientific levels,” Dr Bernier said. “The Varian technology makes it possible to deliver these new, more precise treatments very quickly and efficiently.”

Varian’s On-Board Imager for IGRT enables clinicians to image and treat patients on a single machine that rotates around the patient to take X-ray images and deliver treatments from virtually any angle. Mounted on the linear accelerator, the On-Board Imager device produces high-resolution images of the tumour and tracks changes in tumour shape, size or position due to shrinkage or shifting over a multi-week course of treatment, and due to respiration.

Prior to the advent of IGRT, radiation oncologists had to contend with variations in patient positioning and with respiratory motion by treating a larger margin of healthy tissue around the tumour. IGRT enables doctors to further minimise the volume of healthy tissue exposed to the treatment beam. Potentially, image data from IGRT tools like the On-Board Imager device will be used to make real-time adaptations to the treatment plan.

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