Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
) announced that clinicians at a leading cancer center in Lisbon
used its tumor tracking system, Calypso Anchored Beacon for Lung,
for the first time during radiosurgery treatment. 'Champalimaud
Center for the Unknown' (CCU) used the new tumor tracking system
to treat 3 patients with stage 1 non-small-cell lung cancer.
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Varian's Calypso is a tracking and monitoring device that allows
physicians to locate the exact position of the cancerous tumor
during radiotherapy treatment sessions in real-time, without
harming the adjacent healthy tissues. The Calypso Anchored Beacon
for Lung has received the CE Mark approval and is available for
sale in the European Union (EU) and Australia. However, it is
still under clinical investigation in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the Calypso Beacons for Prostate and Surface Beacons
have been cleared for sale in the U.S., EU, Australia and some
other nations. There are more than 100 Calypso installations
globally, with more than 15,000 patients worldwide, who have been
treated using the system.
Urology, a medical journal, had published a promising clinical
study entitled "Assessing the Impact of Margin Reduction" in
2010, asserting that the Calypso device is capable of reducing
majority of treatment-related side effects during radiotherapy
treatments for prostate cancer.
Doctors at CCU use the implantable Calypso lung transponders
along with VAR's TrueBeam medical linear accelerator to provide
advanced stereotactic radiosurgery treatments. They also use
Calypso surface transponders to track movement in thoracic and
abdominal tumors that are treated using high-dose stereotactic
ablative body radiotherapy (SABR).
In September, Varian had announced the installation of its latest
Edge Radiosurgery Suite at CCU. The hospital plans to begin
patient treatment using the suite, with effect from November this
year. The clinic has also introduced a new approach for
hypo-fractionated prostate cancer treatments for patients with
low- and intermediate-risk tumors. Although this new approach is
still under clinical trial, doctors are already hopeful based on
the preliminary results.
Varian is poised to increase its global market share in the
radiation oncology market as international markets are still
under-equipped to address the growing incidence of cancer.
Recently, the company collaborated with IMRIS Inc., a global
leader in providing image-guided therapy solutions, to develop a
novel magnetic resonance (MR)-guided radiation therapy platform
for cancer treatment.
The Varian stock currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). While we
choose to remain on the sidelines regarding VAR, better-placed
medical instruments stocks such as
), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), as well as
), both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), are worth a look at the