Prostate Cancer Patient Receives First Treatment Using Latest Version of Vitesse Real-Time Brachytherapy Planning System from Varian Medical Systems

Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:00am EDT

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.,  April 16, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- A prostate cancer patient has
become the first person in the world to be treated using the latest version of
Varian's Vitesse real time planning solution for planning and performing
advanced high-dose-rate (HDR), ultrasound-guided brachytherapy treatments. The
treatment took place at the Levine Cancer Institute in  Charlotte, North

"Our team was very impressed overall with this treatment planning system," says
Dr.  Michael Haake, chief, division of Radiation Oncology at Carolinas Medical
Center, Levine Cancer Institute. "The total anesthesia time for the patient was
just three hours, which is short for this type of treatment. He was discharged
about two and half hours after he woke up."   

HDR brachytherapy involves delivering radiotherapy from inside the body by
temporarily placing a tiny radioactive source directly into the tumor or other
targeted area. Using a robotic device called an afterloader, clinicians place
the radioactive source into positions through needles that have been inserted
into the area being treated. The source is then moved within the needles under
computer control to create the specified dose distribution within the patient's

Using the latest version of Vitesse, HDR brachytherapy treatment plans can be
created in a real-time environment, using ultrasound images generated in the
operating room rather than CT scans generated post-operatively elsewhere. This
avoids the need to move the patient to a CT scanner for imaging after the
needles have been put in place. The process can now be completed entirely within
the Vitesse program, from capturing the ultrasound image to finalizing an
approved treatment plan.

"From a practical point of view, the Vitesse software enabled us to monitor the
location of the implant needle tips better in real time, by moving the needle as
my dosimetry personnel mapped their position, which allowed us to actually leave
the procedure room with a great treatment plan,"  added Dr. Haake. "The real
time planning allowed us to edit the plan during treatment, which would have
been much more difficult and time consuming using our previous planning system."

"This version of Vitesse reduces the number and complexity of steps involved in
planning and completing a treatment," says  Tim Clark, marketing manager for
Varian BrachyTherapy. "It eliminates the need for a data transfer to another
software program, and avoids moving the patient to a CT scanner for images in
the middle of the procedure. For these reasons, most clinicians will see a
reduction in the amount of time needed to complete these treatments, often by as
much as an hour and a half."  

Levine Cancer Institute is part of the Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS), which
comprises 32 affiliated hospitals in North and  South Carolina.

Editorial contact:  Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068  

About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE: VAR), of  Palo Alto, California, is the
world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer
and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy.
The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer
clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a
premier supplier of tubes, digital detectors, and image processing workstations
for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also
supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive
testing applications.  Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,200 people
who are located at manufacturing sites in  North America,  Europe, and  China 
and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more
information, visit  or follow us on  Twitter.  

SOURCE  Varian Medical Systems

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