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News

Varian's RapidArc radiotherapy technology receives FDA 510(k) clearance

Varian : 02 January, 2008  (New Product)
Varian Medical Systems' RapidArc radiotherapy technology has received US FDA 510(k) clearance.
RapidArc delivers image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster and more precisely than is possible with conventional IMRT or helical tomotherapy.

'RapidArc represents a major medical advance that will change the way radiation therapy is planned and delivered,' said Dow Wilson, president of Varian's Oncology Systems business. 'Our primary goal with this product is to improve clinical outcomes. In addition, we discovered that we could simultaneously improve treatment efficiency significantly. RapidArc should make better-quality Radiotherapy a more affordable, more accessible treatment option, and enable more cancer patients to receive a higher standard of care.'

RapidArc, Varian's new technology for delivering volumetric modulated arc therapy, quickly delivers a complete IMRT treatment in a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient. The two FDA clearances for RapidArc cover the treatment hardware and the RapidArc treatment planning software module in Varian's Eclipse treatment planning system. Varian will begin taking orders for RapidArc immediately, and will begin delivering it to customers in the spring of 2008.

'Customer interest in RapidArc is tremendous,' said Wilson. 'This technology extends the versatility of Varian's image-guided Radiotherapy system, adding volumetric arc therapy to other advanced capabilities including fixed-beam IMRT and stereotactic treatments. Doctors can use RapidArc for better prostate and head and neck treatments, and still offer fixed beam IMRT treatments with motion management for lung and breast tumours and electron treatments for patients with lymphomas and skin cancers. No other treatment technology offers this kind of versatility for customising treatments according to each patient's specific needs.'

Plan studies comparing fixed-beam and helical IMRT with RapidArc show that RapidArc can reduce the amount of non-therapeutic radiation reaching healthy tissues during treatment. For example, in the case of head and neck cancer treatments, RapidArc plans are better at protecting critical structures like the spinal cord, brain stem, eyes, optic nerve and chiasm, parotid (salivary) glands, and brain. Moreover, with RapidArc's highly efficient use of the primary beam, secondary stray radiation caused by scatter and leakage are reduced by over 50 percent on average compared with fixed field IMRT.

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