Varian debuts next-generation RapidArc technology
Radiation therapy device developer Varian Medical Systems is offering a glimpse of future product development at the 50th annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) in Boston this week.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm is unveiling a new version of RapidArc radiotherapy technology, which makes it possible to quickly deliver a volumetric intensity-modulated arc treatment with a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient. New features include multiple and non-coplanar arc treatments for the accurate targeting of large, irregularly shaped, or awkwardly-positioned tumors.

The company is also highlighting its Novalis Tx image-guided radiosurgery platform, which combines imaging, treatment planning, treatment delivery, and motion management tools from Varian and BrainLAB for the non-invasive treatment of cancer and disorders of the central nervous system.

The OncQT data analysis software tool, developed with colleagues at the Alberta Cancer Board of Canada, for analyzing electronic information in patients' medical records and generating reports about treatment protocols and outcomes is being demonstrated.

“In addition to improving the quality of cancer care, quantitative data analysis has tremendous implications for cost control in healthcare,” said Corey Zankowski, senior director for oncology product management at Varian.

Equicare CS case management software, a program from Cogent Health Solutions that links with Varian's ARIA oncology information system to help doctors provide cancer survivors with proactive follow-up care is being displayed.

The Equicare case management system is a web-based tool that generates a care plan based on best practices, creates a dynamic link between patients, clinicians, and caregivers, and helps survivors achieve better clinical compliance, improved outcomes, and a better quality of life following cancer treatment, according to Varian.

The company is also showcasing several works-in-progress that are not available for sale in the U.S.

The architecture for a new Oncology PACS for long-term image management and storage is being demonstrated. In development by Varian researchers in partnership with Xstor Medical Systems, Varian's Oncology PACS is being designed to furnish oncology departments with a scalable, integrated image storage solution with a web-based interface that adheres to industry standard DICOM RT and HL7 communication protocols.

Varian will also be displaying new methods for managing motion during treatment delivery, including real-time imaging, as well as a method that utilizes the Calypso 4D localization system to monitor and adjust for tumor motion during radiotherapy treatment.