Varian Medical Systems Inc. (NYSE:VAR) won FDA clearance to update the control software for its Clinac and Trilogy targeted radiotherapy devices and its new Pivitol Care Solution for prone breast treatment.
The software approval from the federal watchdog agency allows the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company’s devices to deliver higher doses two times faster than previously possible at 2400 monitor units per minute.
"We’re seeing trends toward the use of hypo-fractionation and radiosurgical approaches for many types of cancer, which means that higher doses are delivered in just one or a few treatment sessions for quick ablation of a tumor," Varian’s Chris Toth said in prepared remarks.
The federal watchdog agency also approved Varian to treat breast cancer patients on their stomachs, in the prone position, rather than on their backs.
"When a woman is in the prone position for treatment, the targeted breast falls away from the rest of her body, creating a greater separation between the breast and the critical organs that lie behind her chest wall," Toth said.
Treating breast cancer patients on their stomachs significantly reduces the amount of lung and heart tissue exposed to radiation treatment, according to the company.*
In early October, the Palo Alto, Calif-based company dropped $10 million acquiring Calypso Medical’s real-time tumor tracking technology.
Calypso makes devices and software to track tumors in real time during radiosurgery and radiotherapy procedures. The deal included an up-front cash payment of $10 million and earn-outs pegged to sales over the 30 months.
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*Correction, Dec. 12, 2011: This article originally stated that the Varian device is designed to treat patients on their backs; the device is instead designed to treat patients in the prone position, on their stomachs. Return to the corrected sentence.
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