A Medical Device Daily

Accuray (Sunnyvale, California) reported that the first extracranial patients were treated in Japan using CyberKnife radiosurgery, following the recently expanded regulatory approval for the CyberKnife System.

Marketed in Japan as CyberKnife II, the system was previously approved in that country only to treat intracranial, head and neck tumors. In June 2008 Accuray reported that the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare had granted Shonin approval of the CyberKnife System for extracranial treatments, including tumors in the spine, lung, liver, pancreas and prostate.

The company said this regulatory approval and the upgraded capabilities dramatically expand the types of patients that can be treated with radiosurgery in the country.

"Having personally treated thousands of patients using CyberKnife radiosurgery, I was thrilled when the technology received Shonin approval for extracranial use," said Kengo Sato, MD, chief medical officer at Yokohama CyberKnife Center. "I have seen firsthand the system's benefits in treating brain tumors and am very happy to be able to extend those benefits to our extracranial patients. We're now treating patients who were previously considered untreatable and are very pleased with the results we're seeing."

Eric Lindquist, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Accuray, said, "Japan remains the second-largest installed base of CyberKnife Systems with more than 20 installed to date, so these extracranial treatments are just the beginning. These patients are the first of many to experience a convenient, comfortable and precise form of cancer care."

The company said the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is the world's only robotic radiosurgery system designed to treat tumors anywhere in the body non-invasively. "Using continual image guidance technology and computer-controlled robotic mobility," it said, "the CyberKnife System automatically tracks, detects and corrects for tumor and patient movement in real-time throughout the treatment."

Accuray said this "enables the CyberKnife System to deliver high-dose radiation with pinpoint precision, which minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue and eliminates the need for invasive head or body stabilization frames."

Qatar hospital adding RapidArc

Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, California) reported that a leading Middle East cancer center has acquired two advanced radiotherapy devices equipped with its RapidArc technology for fast and precise treatments.

Al Amal Hospital (Doha, Qatar) is replacing four-year-old linear accelerators from another manufacturer with Trilogy and Clinac iX devices, in order to provide patients with more modern and efficient treatments.

The new equipment, ordered in February and scheduled to be installed in May, will enable clinicians in Qatar's only radiation therapy center to begin treatments using RapidArc, Varian's latest technology for delivering image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) with greater precision and up to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT.

Dr. Noora Mohammed Al-Hammadi, head of the department of radiation oncology at Al Amal, said, "Evidence suggests that RapidArc will revolutionize the way IMRT is delivered and potentially improve patient outcomes. Faster treatment that more closely conform radiation doses to the size, shape and location of the tumor are always desirable in radiotherapy, for both machine throughput as well as patient outcomes. We are very excited about the potential of RapidArc."

Conventional IMRT treatments are slower for radiotherapists because they use many fixed-angle beams rather than a continuous rotational beam, while RapidArc delivers treatment in single or multiple arcs of the medical linear accelerator around the patient.

Varian's Clinac and Trilogy accelerators can target beams at a tumor while continuously rotating around the patient.

Part of Hamad Medical Corp., the government provider of health in Qatar, Al Amal Hospital treats patients from across the Persian Gulf region. Its patients represent a mix of all types of tumors, including pediatric cases and a large proportion of breast cancer patients.

The hospital radiation therapy department aims to become a recognized Center of Excellence in image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) for the region within five years.

"This is the vision and we are already well on our way," said Al-Hammadi. "We have always ensured that the treatments offered to the population of Qatar match those found in any major state-of-the-art cancer center in the world. We evaluated offerings from all three major vendors, as well as other arc therapy techniques such as helical tomotherapy, and decided that Varian had the most advanced systems and the most clinically integrated system to meet our needs."

He added, "Varian's equipment and software supports our belief in seamless care. The ability to implement both RapidArc and stereotactic radiosurgery using 3-D image guidance will allow us to offer better precision. In addition, the ARIA oncology information management system will enable us to go paperless and be fully integrated to the hospital's imaging systems, meaning better workflow and better overall patient care."

Oman distributor signed for CTLM system

Imaging Diagnostic Systems (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) said that Shihab Muscat United (SMU) has been appointed as its exclusive distributor for the country of Oman. The company will market and service the CT Laser Mammography (CTLM) system to the private and public sector of that Middle East country.

IDSI exhibited at the recent Arab Health 2009 conference, during which it met with many companiess interested in marketing the CTLM system throughout different countries, including Shihab Muscat United.

That company's managing director, Arvind Gaikwad, will present the CT Laser Mammography system to Ministry of Health officials of Oman and to private imaging centers.

"One of the highlights of the CTLM system at the Arab Health conference was the discrete manner in which a woman is examined, which is desirable in the Middle East due to the cultural customs. We hope to produce a long lasting relationship with SMU and introduce the CTLM system to the women of Oman," said Deborah O'Brien, senior vice president of Imaging Diagnostic Systems.

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