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Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center Now Offering Cancer Patients Faster, Ultra-Precise Radiation Using New RapidArc Technology
Date:1/13/2009

ELIZABETH, N.J., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At the end of December, Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center became one of the first cancer treatment centers in the state of New Jersey to offer cancer patients treatment using RapidArc(TM) radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). RapidArc is a fast, precise form of treatment that is delivered two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional radiation therapy technologies. By delivering radiation doses more quickly and with great accuracy, Trinitas clinicians can simultaneously improve the quality of care while making patients more comfortable.

"We're very pleased to offer this technological advantage to our patients at Trinitas," says Gary S. Horan, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Trinitas Regional Medical Center. "This technology makes Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center a regional leader in offering cancer patients access to treatments that can improve outcomes by doing a better job of sparing surrounding healthy tissue while delivering more powerful radiation doses to tumors."

"Rapid Arc makes it possible for us to deliver highly-precise intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatments quickly," said Dr. Lisa Henson, Chair of Radiation Oncology at Trinitas. "These treatments target tumors accurately while sparing the surrounding healthy tissues."

Rapid Arc is an image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatment that takes about 90 seconds to deliver once a patient has been positioned for treatment, which is markedly faster than other forms of treatment, which can take up to 20 minutes or longer per session. During a RapidArc treatment session, which is completed with one or multiple rotations of the treatment machine around the patient, the radiation beam is continually shaped and reshaped according to the size, shape, and position of the tumor in the body. As a result, the delivery of radiation is many times faster than with conventional treatment technologies.

According to Dr. Henson, because the treatment is fast, it is also easier on the patient. "Patients who had difficulty holding still for long periods of time, are now able to receive their treatment in less time, thereby allowing us to improve quality of care while simultaneously making patients more comfortable," she said.

Miguel Gomez, patient at Trinitas Cancer Center adds, "I am pleased that my treatment was changed to RapidArc. This new technology is faster and lets me complete each of my treatment sessions in under two minutes. Before I would have to lay still for close to half an hour and there were times it was uncomfortable and difficult for me. Now I am in and out quickly and back to my daily routine."

RapidArc treatments at Trinitas are accomplished using the Trilogy(R) linear accelerator from Varian. Trinitas was the first treatment center in New Jersey to offer patient treatments on this state-of-the-art equipment back in Fall 2005. The Trilogy machine was upgraded to deliver RapidArc treatments using a beam-shaping device called a multi-leaf collimator (MLC). This device has 120 computer-controlled mechanical "leaves" or "fingers" that move to create apertures of different shapes and sizes. During a RapidArc treatment, specialized software algorithms vary three parameters simultaneously: the speed of rotation around the patient, the shape of the MLC aperture, and the dose delivery rate.

About Trinitas Regional Medical Center

Trinitas Regional Medical Center (TRMC) is a major center for comprehensive health services for those who live and work in Central New Jersey. Offering 531 beds, Trinitas is distinguished by no fewer than ten Centers of Excellence, which include: the Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Trinitas School of Nursing; the Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine; the Sleep Disorders Center; cardiology services, maternal/child health services; diabetes management; women's services, renal care; behavioral health services, and senior services.

About Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center

Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center (TCCC) is located in a new 28,000-square-foot, five-story building on the campus of Trinitas Hospital. The Center offers the most advanced technology available to cancer patients. Board-certified physicians, nurses and allied health professionals are passionate in their fight against cancer and their mission to provide excellent patient care. Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center is an affiliate of Aptium Oncology, a Los Angeles-based leader in building, developing and managing comprehensive outpatient cancer centers.

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, proton therapy, 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 and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 4,900 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 60 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com/.


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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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