Varian receives US clearance for proton therapy system

31 Jan 2011

Varian Medical Systems has received FDA 510(k) clearance for the Varian Proton Therapy System which generates protons for precision radiotherapy of lesions, tumours, and conditions anywhere where radiation treatment is indicated.

It is the first working system capable of delivering precise intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) using pencil beam scanning technology.

"With this clearance, we have reached a significant milestone in the development of the Varian Particle Therapy (VPT) business and technology," said Lester Boeh, vice president of emerging businesses for Varian Medical Systems. "It means our clinical partners will be able to treat patients as soon as their systems are commissioned without the need to seek individual site-specific clearances. This will make it easier for customers to secure financing for their projects."

Varian is actively marketing its system under the ProBeam brand, and it has been selected as the preferred supplier for several proton therapy projects, including the Scripps Proton Therapy Center which is now under construction in San Diego where treatments are scheduled to begin in 2013. The Varian ProBeam system has also been selected for centers planned in Maryland, Italy and other locations in the United States and Europe. Varian will not book an order for any of these projects until contracts and financing are completed.

Varian's IMPT technology gives clinicians more options for delivering dose more precisely in order to spare more healthy tissue in the course of delivering treatments. "Our scanning beam IMPT technology combines a high quality of care with the potential for higher patient throughput and improved cost efficiency, and we believe it will improve the economics and effectiveness of proton therapy," Boeh said.

Proton therapy destroys tumours by delivering protons that stop at specified depths within the anatomy, thereby reducing exposure of healthy tissue. Varian's scanning beam technology enables IMPT by modulating dose levels on a spot-by-spot basis throughout the treatment area. Irradiations from multiple angles are combined in an optimal manner to improve control of dose distributions. Scanning beam technology also eliminates the time-consuming need to manually insert separate shaping accessories for each beam angle in order to match the beam to the shape of the tumour.

Varian's scanning beam IMPT technology is already at work in the Rinecker Proton Therapy Center in Germany, which has now treated several hundred patients.


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