Varian Medical Systems today announced it has been selected to equip a new proton therapy center in Sweden. In a ceremony conducted by Swedish authorities yesterday following a public tender, Varian was named to supply an estimated $60 million in products for Skandionkliniken, a new national proton therapy center owned by a consortium of seven of Sweden's counties.
The center is scheduled to open in 2013. Varian hopes to book the order for the project before the end of the fiscal year upon review and approval of the tender process.
Public officials representing Skandionkliniken publicly announced the award here on Aug. 19 when they met with Varian Medical Systems management to sign the contract. Skandionkliniken is the first clinical center for proton therapy in Scandinavia.
"We are honored to be selected for this important project following a competitive bidding process and a thorough review of our proton therapy technology by numerous experts from across Sweden's radiation oncology community," said Varian President and CEO Tim Guertin. "This will be our first full installation for managing, planning, and delivering proton therapy, which we believe will be a powerful weapon in the battle to cure cancer. This award is a major milestone for the Varian Particle Therapy business."
Skandionkliniken, which will have two full treatment rooms as well as a fixed beam room for quality assurance and research activities, is expected to treat 1,000 patients per year in phase 1, and gradually expand to the full capacity of 2,500 patients per year. Varian will equip the center with a fully integrated system including its superconducting cyclotron, a beam line, and treatment room gantries as well as its ARIA(R) software for information management and its Eclipse(TM) software for treatment planning. Varian will also have a five year service agreement valued at approximately $25 million.
"Varian's advanced technology for spot scanning was of decisive importance in our choice of supplier," said Leif Lyttkens, Managing Director of Skandionkliniken. "We are pleased to be working with Varian, which has proven to be a reliable partner with leading edge solutions for cancer treatment." Spot scanning makes it possible to deliver intensity-modulated proton therapy to concentrate the dose on the targeted tumor while sparing normal healthy tissues.
Proton therapy makes it possible to treat cancer more effectively and with fewer side effects than with conventional radiation therapy. With proton therapy, the risk of damage to healthy tissues is minimized. The method can be applied for the most common types of cancer and offers advantages when treating tumors close to radiosensitive tissues. In pediatric patients the risk of developing a new, radiation-induced cancer later in life is reduced. Skandionkliniken expects that most of the children in need of radiotherapy will be offered proton treatments.
The project marks the first time that the seven Swedish counties, representing eight university hospitals, have made a joint investment in a national center for cancer treatment. Under this collaborative model, university hospitals in each county will manage and plan proton treatments locally, and treat their patients at the new center.
The proton therapy consortium, called "The Joint Authority of County Councils for Advanced Radiation Therapy," was formed by the seven counties in 2006. The seven counties are: Uppsala, Ostergotland, Skane, Stockholm, Vasterbotten, Vastra Gotaland and Orebro. All eight University Hospitals in Sweden (Uppsala, Linkoping, Lund, Malmo, Stockholm, Umea, Goteborg and Orebro) will treat patients at Skandionkliniken. The public tender for the proton therapy system was issued in 2008.