Advanced Body Radiosurgery can bring new hope for patients with lung tumors


Leading cancer worldwide expected to increase in the Middle East

firas-salih-sales-manager-me-brainlab-dr-wurm-jean-hooks-gm-oncology-solutions-brainlabVarian Medical Systems and BrainLAB announced today the new outpatient high-precision radiosurgery platform Novalis Txä with Adaptive Gating, during a press conference held at the 2009 Arab Health exhibition. The new Adaptive Gating feature provides non-surgical alternatives to treat lung cancers.

Radiosurgery has become a treatment standard for many brain tumors as an alternative to surgery, in hospitals in the M.E and around the world. The benefits for patients include reduced radiation to the surrounding tissue promising fewer side effects and fewer treatment sessions – often one single appointment is sufficient.

Lung tumors move with each breath, presenting a new challenge to clinicians. Today, radiosurgery techniques formerly used only for the brain can be applied to treat tumors in the body. With Adaptive Gating on the Novalis Txä radiosurgery platform, clinicians can treat lung tumors with high doses. The treatment beam is only turned on when the tumor is in the exact target position needed for treatment. This significantly reduces the radiation toxicity to the surrounding healthy tissue. Novalis Tx has integrated volumetric and real-time imaging capabilities that enable clinicians to detect changes in size and position that have occurred between treatment sessions. Clinicians also utilize the latest techniques in treatment planning, the Monte Carlo algorithm, to precisely calculate how radiation is distributed across the in-homogenous tissues in the chest cavity in order to get the best treatment outcomes.

dr-reinhard-wurmDr. Reinhard Wurm, Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Klinikum Frankfurt (Oder), Academic Teaching Hospital, Charité-Universitätsmedizin-Berlin, is one of the worldwide renowned experts in radiation treatment of lung tumors and metastases.  With over 20 years of clinical experience in radiosurgery, he has treated more than 5000 patients from allover the world. Further developing the treatment techniques, he has devoted more than six years to the highly precise treatment of body tumors (“Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy” – SBRT).

“The latest improvements allow us to treat inoperable primary lung cancers as well as metastases originating from other parts of the body with very high precision”, says Dr. Wurm. “We can also offer a combined treatment to patients. This means that surgery is used to remove the parts of the tumor that can easily be reached and the remaining tumor tissue is treated with radiosurgery. This radiosurgery treatment can be done on an outpatient basis, allowing the patient to return home on the same day. Furthermore, chemotherapy can be initiated at the same time to improve treatment response by radio-sensitization and to lose no time to counteract development of distant metastases.”

“Enabling clinicians to deliver a very high dose of radiation precisely to a moving target is a breakthrough. This provides a real alternative and new hope to patients with this disease“, says Jean Hooks, General Manager Oncology Solutions, BrainLAB. “Enhancing cancer prevention programs, earlier diagnosis and innovative technologies will bring more effective changes in patient outcomes today and help the Middle East region prepare for future healthcare challenges.”

In the Middle East, cancer is a leading cause of death along with cardiovascular disease and accidents; lung cancer in specific is one of the five most common cancers among men in this region. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancers worldwide, accounting for 1.4 million deaths each year. While other environmental risk factors exist, smoking has been identified as a main risk factor for developing lung cancer. This cancer often develops roughly 30 years from the onset of smoking. Although the overall lung cancer incidence rate in the M.E region is currently lower than in other regions of the world, the prevalence of smokers has been increasing and experts are expecting a lung cancer epidemic in the coming decades.

Despite the advancements in diagnosis and treatment of many cancers over the past decades, little progress has been made in changing patient outcomes for those diagnosed with lung cancer. The overall 5-year survival rate for people diagnosed with lung cancer is lower than 15 percent. Survival rates vary widely, depending on the stage in which the cancer is detected. Approximately 30% of patients are diagnosed with early stage disease (Stage I or II), 20% with stage III disease, and 50% of patients with stage IV disease.

About Novalis Tx
The Novalis Tx platform offers radiosurgery for an extremely wide range of indications such as malignant and benign lesions, brain metastases, arteriovascular malformations, and functional lesions. It features very high dose delivery rates allowing treatments to be delivered in short timeframe. Novalis Tx also offers dynamic fine beam shaping and non-invasive, precise frameless patient positioning for rapid and comfortable treatments.

Novalis Tx includes comprehensive 3D volumetric and real-time dynamic imaging solutions. They allow pinpointing the tumor and positioning the patient with millimeter precision, detecting movement and adjusting patient positioning in six dimensions. This enhances protection of surrounding healthy tissues while enabling clinicians to concentrate higher, more effective doses on tumors.
They imaging capabilities enable advanced clinical treatment options such as Adaptive Gating, frameless radiosurgery, and RapidArc®.

Novalis Tx was released in by Varian Medical Systems and BrainLAB in September 2007. 69 systems are currently being installed or in clinical use at top level medical centers worldwide. For more information, please visit

About Adaptive Gating
Adaptive Gating addresses respiration movements with continuous optical infrared external patient tracking and IGRT x-ray verification of internal tumor position during radiotherapy treatment. Adaptive Gating visualizes the exact location of a moving target in real-time, enabling respiration-triggered dose delivery.
Traditionally, tumors subject to respiration-induced movement represented a challenge for focused dose delivery. Treatment planning was either based on assumptions of the consistency of a patient’s breathing pattern or included significant margins for target motion.

About BrainLAB
BrainLAB develops, manufactures and markets software-driven medical technology that enables procedures that are more precise, less invasive, and also less expensive than traditional treatments. Among the core products are image-guided systems that provide highly accurate real-time information used for navigation during surgical procedures. This utility has been further expanded to serve as a computer terminal for physicians to more effectively access and interpret diagnostic scans and other digital medical information for better informed decisions. BrainLAB solutions allow expansion from a single system to operating suites to digitally integrated hospitals covering all subspecialties from neurosurgery, orthopedics, ENT, CMF to spine & trauma and oncology. With more than 3,300 systems installed in over 75 countries, BrainLAB is a market leader in image-guided technology. The privately held BrainLAB group, founded in 1989, is headquartered in Munich, Germany and today employs 1,000 people in 16 offices across Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America.
For more information, visit BrainLAB at

About Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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

® Novalis Tx is a registered trademark of Varian Medical Systems and BrainLAB AG in Germany and/or the US.
RapidArc is a registered trademark of Varian Medical Systems.


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