Three Novalis Tx radiosurgery platforms ordered by Danish cancer hospital

30 July 2008

Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) and BrainLAB AG have announced that one of Scandinavia’s leading cancer centres has ordered three Novalis Tx radiosurgery platforms which combine the most advanced technologies from both companies to offer superior non-invasive radiosurgery for patients.

Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen has ordered two new Novalis Tx radiosurgery platforms and the associated suite of accessories and will upgrade an existing BrainLAB Novalis device to the more advanced new generation Novalis Tx.

All three machines will be equipped with Varian’s RapidArc radiotherapy technology for image-guided, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatments, meaning seven treatment machines at the hospital will have this new capability. They will also include the BrainLAB ExacTrac x-ray 6D imaging system and the Varian on-board imager for precise patient positioning.

Dr Svend Aage Engelholm, chief radiation oncologist of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Copenhagen University Hospital (Rigshospitalet), says, “The two new Novalis Tx platforms will mainly be used for state-of-the-art lung and prostate cancer treatments while most of the other extra-cranial stereotactic treatments will take place on the upgraded device,” he said.

Dr Engelholm added that Rigshospitalet has a long tradition of carrying out high-precision radiotherapy treatments and is one of the two leading hospitals in Denmark for stereotactic radiosurgery. The hospital was the first in Scandinavia to introduce IMRT treatments and was also the region’s first hospital to offer image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) as a routine preferred treatment for a number of cancer indications.

Novalis Tx offers radiosurgery for a wide range of indications such as malignant and benign lesions, brain metastases, arteriovascular malformations, and functional lesions. It features very high dose delivery rates, which means that treatments can be delivered very rapidly. Novalis Tx also offers dynamic fine beam shaping and non-invasive, precise frameless patient positioning for rapid and comfortable treatments.

Novalis Tx allows multiple beam energies of up to 18 million volts for treating deep-seated tumours. “The speed coupled with the precise beam shaping and advanced imaging capabilities make advanced radiosurgical treatments with Novalis Tx more affordable for hospitals and their patients,” adds Dow Wilson, head of Varian’s Oncology Systems business.

The Novalis Tx platform also includes an On-Board Imager device for pinpointing the tumour and positioning the patient with millimeter precision. The platform’s ExacTrac room-based image-guidance system provides continual imaging during treatment to detect movement and support robotic adjustments in patient positioning in six dimensions. This enhances protection of surrounding healthy tissues while enabling clinicians to concentrate higher, more effective doses on tumors.

Jean Hooks, General Manager Oncology Solutions at BrainLAB, adds, “Novalis Tx offers extensive imaging capabilities with three complementary imaging systems. These are representative of the power our partnership with Varian brings to the field of radiosurgery. Novalis Tx answers strong demand from the clinical community for a fast, versatile, precise instrument that offers new hope to many cancer patients.”

This latest investment at Rigshospitalet is part of a Denmark-wide strategy to ensure cancer patients receive their first radiotherapy treatment within four weeks of diagnosis. According to Dr Engelholm, his hospital is on course to ensure most patients receive advanced radiotherapy treatment within two weeks of diagnosis.

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