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Varian Medical Systems Selected To Supply Project To Bring Advanced Radiotherapy Treatments To North Of Portugal

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (Varian Medical Systems) has been selected by the Instituto Portugues Oncologia, IPO Porto, to supply seven new treatments machines for advanced cancer treatments. The order, placed in August 2009, includes the Novalis Tx device for advanced radiosurgery and two Trilogy medical linear accelerators offering RapidArc radiotherapy capability.

The project involves complete reconstruction of an institute that first began treating cancer patients in 1974 and has offered quality cancer care for north Portugal’s 3.6m inhabitants since.

Four Clinac DHX linear accelerators, ARIA oncology information software with 64 workstations and 15 treatment planning systems also form part of the single radiotherapy order placed in Portugal. Varian Medical Systems has also signed an eight-year service contract with the institute.

“The efficacy of radiotherapy treatments is already very well known but the improvement in quality that will come from this project will be of enormous benefit to the quality of life of patients in the north of Portugal,” said Helena Pereira, M.D., IPO’s radio oncology service medical director. “This new equipment will allow us to introduce new radiation delivery techniques that offer more efficient and more precise ways of treating cancer while reducing side effects.”

Laranja Pontes, M.D., the Institute’s CEO, added, “We have been working with Varian for twenty years and we are very pleased with the relationship. The acquisition of this new equipment shows our faith in this relationship and our belief that Varian’s equipment and software offer our patients the best treatments.”

RapidArc delivers a precise and efficient treatment in single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver image-guided intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. Faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery and, with less time on the treatment couch, also allow for greater patient comfort.

Novalis Tx from Varian Medical Systems and BrainLAB features very high dose delivery rates, which contributes to shorter treatment times. It also offers dynamic fine beam shaping using the HD-120 high definition multi-leaf collimator (MLC) and non-invasive, precise patient positioning. The integrated On-Board Imager device pinpoints the target and enables positioning of the patient with millimeter precision.

“This is a bold and impressive project and we are delighted that IPO Porto has selected Varian equipment and software to equip it,” says Michael Sandhu, head of Varian’s Oncology Systems business in Europe. “When clinical treatments start, this equipment will make a huge difference to cancer patients in the region, not only in additional treatment machines but also in the use of more efficient procedures.”

IPO Porto is a public health institution known for the treatment, research and teaching of cancer, often treating the most complex cancer cases in the north of the country.