Varian improves cancer targeting

October 23, 2002

A new product from Varian Medical Systems, called Acuity, promises ultraprecise targeting of cancer. Acuity integrates planning, simulation, and verification software for radiation therapy. The FDA-cleared product is designed to accelerate the adoption

A new product from Varian Medical Systems, called Acuity, promises ultraprecise targeting of cancer. Acuity integrates planning, simulation, and verification software for radiation therapy. The FDA-cleared product is designed to accelerate the adoption of intensity-modulated radiation therapy through its ability to dynamically track tumor motion during the simulation and verification process. This allows exact documentation of how tumors move as patients breathe, allowing adjustments in treatment to account for the motion. With the help of Acuity, clinics can modify plans by repositioning patients, changing treatment margins around the tumor, or by using respiratory gating to administer radiation only during specified parts of the respiratory cycle. The Acuity imaging system pairs a high-resolution x-ray tube with amorphous-silicon flat-panel image detector from Varian to instantly produce and display high-resolution radiographic and fluoroscopic digital images on a computer workstation. This speeds the simulation and verification process by eliminating film processing and by providing increased flexibility in positioning patients compared to traditional bulky image intensifier tubes.

As part of its effort to improve the accuracy of cancer therapy, Varian has a three-month program to retrofit clinics using GammaMed afterloaders for brachytherapy with its BrachyVision treatment planning software. The upgrade will boost GammaMed sites from 2D to high-resolution 3D planning. BrachyVision's 3D processing capabilities help guide placement of radiation sources for more precise delivery of radiation to cancers of the cervix, lung, prostate, breast, and head and neck.