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Proton therapy current events recap

Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | March 29, 2021
Rad Oncology Proton Therapy
From the March 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


“The study doesn’t give us insights into the ideology of the disparity in black children receiving this sophisticated form of radiation less than others,” Haas-Kogan told HCB News. “One, however, might imagine that there are many disparities of both individual biases and systemic disenfranchisement that all intertwine from socioeconomic to educational disparities, that may contribute to black children being treated with proton therapy less than white children.”

Varian gets FDA nod for Eclipse v16.1 treatment planning software
In September, Varian announced it had received FDA 510(k) clearance for its Eclipse v16.1 treatment planning software for proton therapy, offering intelligent features that leverage Siemens Healthineers' SOMATOM DECT diagnostic imager with its dual X-ray energies capability.

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This new capability allows for increased visibility of soft tissue and more accurate information about tissue density, allowing dosimetrists to plan more precisely. This feature was validated through a clinical collaboration with the Roberts Proton Therapy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

In August, Siemens announced a deal to acquire Varian Medical Systems for $16.4 billion. The arrangement brings together two medical equipment companies with a long track record of collaboration.

Also included in Eclipse v16.1 is the first clinical release of GPU Monte Carlo proton dose calculation technology, that was evaluated in partnership with the Emory Proton Therapy Center in Atlanta, Georgia. This technology enables clinicians to accelerate calculation speed and improve overall treatment planning efficiency.

"Varian's goal is to drive the next evolution of proton treatment planning by providing intelligent tools designed to improve plan quality, accelerate speed of dose calculations, and provide new levels of accuracy," said Varian’s president of proton solutions and chief growth officer, Kolleen Kennedy, in a statement. "With the launch of Eclipse v16.1 we continue to build on our strong foundation, providing the most sophisticated proton therapy planning solutions to our clinical users across the globe."


Proton therapy reduces risk of heart disease for lung cancer patients
Lung cancer patients treated with proton therapy have less of a risk of incurring certain forms of heart disease than those treated with photon therapy.

That’s what researchers at Penn Medicine said in a presentation last October at the American Society for Radiation Oncology virtual Annual Meeting, claiming that they observed fewer mini-strokes and heart attacks in such patients as part of a retrospective trial. They claim it is the first study to suggest that proton therapy is more beneficial than intensity modulated radiotherapy in reducing cardiac dose effects.

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