Varian Medical Systems out of Palo Alto, California received FDA 510(k) clearance for its proton beam radiation therapy system. The certification means that hospitals do not need to seek individual clearances to install the Varian system.
Proton therapy has the advantage of delivering energy to a tumor with minimal effect on healthy tissue on the way from the gun to the target, but the disadvantage is that it’s really, really expensive. Pictured above is the gantry where the patient is subjected to the beam, and below is the beam path coming from the cyclotron that can supply a number of patient treatment rooms at the same time. Further down the page is the image of the finished patient treatment room.
Varian’s scanning beam technology enables IMPT by modulating dose levels on a spot-by-spot basis throughout the treatment area. Irradiations from multiple angles are combined in an optimal manner to improve control of dose distributions. Scanning beam technology also eliminates the time-consuming need to manually insert separate shaping accessories for each beam angle in order to match the beam to the shape of the tumor.
Varian’s scanning beam IMPT technology is already at work in the Rinecker Proton Therapy Center in Germany, which has now treated several hundred patients.