Jul 13, 2012
GURVE Radiation Oncology Group first in Venezuela to offer RapidArc
CARACAS, Venezuela, 12 July 2012 – GURVE Radiation Oncology Group (Radioterapia Oncológica GURVE) in Caracas, Venezuela has become the first treatment center in the country to offer cancer patients RapidArc™ radiotherapy from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). GURVE, which operates three cancer treatment centers in Venezuela, has treated more than 100 patients to date with RapidArc, a fast, accurate image-guided treatment that precisely targets tumors while minimizing exposure of surrounding healthy tissues and organs.
"After upgrading our treatment center with RapidArc technology, we delivered the first RapidArc treatment for a 61-year-old man with lung cancer," said Dr. Andrés Vera Gimón, director of Radioterapia Oncológica GURVE. "We were immediately impressed by the quality of the RapidArc treatment plans – their ability to precisely pinpoint the tumor and minimize the dose reaching other parts of the body. RapidArc treatments are delivered much more quickly than conventional radiotherapy, so the process is less burdensome for the patient, and we can treat more patients each day."
According to Dr. Vera, the addition of RapidArc made it possible to increase the number of patients treated during a normal working day by fifteen percent. In addition to lung cancer, clinicians at the treatment center have now used RapidArc in the treatment of prostate, brain, gynecological, and other types of cancer.
Upgrading Varian Treatment Technology
The adoption of RapidArc technology at Radioterapia Oncológica GURVE was the culmination of a series of upgrades to a Varian medical linear accelerator, or treatment machine. "Over time we have added many new capabilities, including intensity-modulated radiotherapy, or IMRT," said Dr. Vera. IMRT enables fine beam-shaping, as well as the ability to boost the dose within some parts of a tumor while reducing the dose in other areas, particularly when nearby healthy tissues or organs are at risk. The forward-looking clinic also added technology for image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), which enhances tumor targeting.
"Whenever Varian introduces new technology, we install it at one of our centers and learn how to use it," Dr. Vera said. "We make sure that it is helpful for our patients, and then order it for the other facilities." Radioterapia Oncológica GURVE has now ordered Varian treatment machines with RapidArc for its other two centers in Valencia and Caracas.
RapidArc delivers a precise and efficient treatment in a single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient. By varying the speed of rotation, the shape of the beam, and the dose delivery rate, doctors can use RapidArc to create finely-shaped dose distributions that closely match the size and shape of the tumor while sparing healthy tissues. Faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery. Shorter treatments also help to improve comfort by reducing the amount of time that patients must be immobilized on the treatment table.
"For example, treating a patient with cervical cancer that had spread to the pre-aortic lymph nodes with IMRT used to take 40 minutes per session. With RapidArc, we can complete a session in about six minutes," Dr. Vera said.
Note to editors: A high resolution image of RapidArc radiotherapy technology is available online here: http://varian.mediaroom.com/image/RapidArc.jpg.
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., 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 6,000 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 http://www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.
About Radioterapia Oncológica GURVE
Founded in 1971, the GURVE group is one of the premier private medical institutions in Venezuela. Offering radiotherapy, radiosurgery, brachytherapy and nuclear medicine, the GURVE group seeks to offer cancer patients world-class treatment using the most modern technologies available. As pioneers in the delivery of radiosurgery, GURVE clinicians have completed more than 650 such procedures at the La Floresta site and at La Trinidad teaching medical center. Medical personnel include more than 75 specialists who keep abreast of global developments in their specialties through participation in national and international continuing educational activities. GURVE clinicians provide treatment to patients from throughout the country and abroad for diseases ranging from brain metastases to prostate cancer.