Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), today announced the Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC) successfully completed its first patient treatment with the Varian ProBeam® system. The MPTC at the University of Maryland BioPark in West Baltimore houses five treatment rooms and is the first in the Eastern US to offer image-guided intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) with a ProBeam system.
Proton therapy makes it possible to treat certain types of cancer more precisely and with potentially fewer side effects than is possible with conventional radiation therapy. With proton therapy, the risk of damage to healthy tissues and potential side effects are reduced because proton beams can be controlled so that they deposit their energy within the tumor site rather than passing all the way through the patient.
MPTC is delivering the most precise form of proton therapy using Varian's pencil beam scanning technology. With this technology a proton beam precisely paints a tumor with radiation using a pencil point beam that deposits dose layer by layer as it scans back and forth across the target area. To view a video of pencil beam scanning, visit http://www.varian.com/PencilBeamScanning
In a related press release today from MPTC, titled: At University of Maryland, First Cancer Patients Receive Proton Therapy at New Maryland Proton Treatment Center, William F. Regine, MD, FACR, FACRO, MPTC executive director and the Isadore & Fannie Foxman Schneider Endowed Chair and Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, stated, "We are very pleased and excited to be able to make this form of radiation therapy available to cancer patients in the Baltimore-Washington region and beyond. Proton therapy enables us to deliver a targeted dose of lifesaving radiation therapy directly to the tumor while minimizing radiation to healthy tissue. It can result in a more effective treatment for patients with fewer side effects. This technology is a powerful tool in our toolbox for fighting cancer."
"We are proud to collaborate with the MPTC to bring this advanced cancer-fighting technology to patients in the Baltimore-area as well as around the world. We are pleased that it took only nine months from the the building 'ready for equipment' milestone to the first patient treatment," said Dr. Moataz Karmalawy, general manager of Varian's Particle Therapy division.
Additionally, Varian's ProBeam technology is being used to treat patients at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego, the Rinecker Proton Therapy Center in Munich, and at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. Varian also has contracts for system installations at 13 other sites around the world.