FDA grants 510(k) clearance for Varian's new radiotherapy treatment planning tool

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Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) has received FDA 510(k) clearance for a new radiotherapy treatment planning tool designed to work with the company's market leading Eclipse™ treatment planning software to reduce the amount of time needed for planning advanced treatments.

"In order to create a customized treatment plan, a clinician must take the patient's anatomical images and identify and outline the tumor and nearby organs in a process called contouring.  This is critical when specifying what is to be irradiated or protected during radiotherapy treatments," said Jefferson Amacker, director, clinical solutions.  "Traditionally, contouring has been a time-consuming process."

Varian has combined two techniques in Smart Segmentation Knowledge Based Contouring, making it possible for clinicians to accomplish the contouring process more quickly:

  1. Smart Segmentation, which analyzes anatomical images, drawing on information about human anatomy to identify and outline organs and other structures, and
  2. Knowledge Based Contouring, which allows the clinician to start the planning process by drawing on a library of expertly pre-contoured images that have important anatomical structures already outlined.  The clinician then follows a special process for matching these pre-contoured images with those of the patient to create the desired contours.

 "It's similar to building a house from scratch or remodeling.  Remodeling is generally faster because you have something to work from," said Amacker. "Both of these tools give clinicians a head start, so that the contouring task can be more easily and quickly completed."

Smart Segmentation KBC can be used in conjunction with Varian's market-leading Eclipse treatment planning system to create treatment plans for external beam or for brachytherapy treatments.  Varian's proprietary and patented Knowledge Based Contouring tool contains an anatomy atlas that covers all of the areas of the body most commonly treated with radiotherapy when cancer has been detected, including the breast, prostate, gynecological, lung, brain, head and neck, and many other areas of the body.  Eclipse has been adopted for radiotherapy treatment planning at over 3,000 radiation oncology clinics around the world.

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