Leading integrated radiotherapy systems maker Varian Medical Systems ( VAR ) recently stated that a brain tumor patient was the first individual in France to be treated with its popular TrueBeam radiotherapy system. Subsequently, many more patients have been treated at the Cancer Research Center of Languedoc-Roussillon at the Centre Val d'Aurelle, Montpellier. The hospital is in the process of setting up two more TrueBeam systems, one of which is a TrueBeam STx.
The TrueBeam system is intended to treat cancers such as, in the head and neck, lung and breast. TrueBeam is a totally integrated radiotherapy set-up intended to treat a moving object with accuracy and speed. It possesses a high intensity mode, which is one of six permitted dosage levels.
This system may be categorised as a flexible platform, which can be utilized for all types of sophisticated external-beam radiotherapy including intensity-modulated radiotherapy ("IMRT") and RapidArc radiotherapy.
The head of radiotherapy of the French institution stated that Varian's system is able to picture the tumor during therapy and therefore doctors can modify therapy on a timely basis. This enables TrueBeam to focus on the tumor and minimize collateral damage to adjacent tissue. In addition, TrueBeam has impressive speed in dosage delivery. This permits such a busy institution to increase patient footprint.
Varian is a leading manufacturer of integrated radiotherapy systems for treating cancer and a premier supplier of X-ray tubes for diagnostic imaging applications. The company operates in a technology-driven environment, where success depends on the use of new technology, product development and upgrades. In the radiation oncology market, Varian competes with Accuray ( ARAY ).
Varian is poised to increase its market share in radiation oncology. It is currently enjoying a healthy demand for TrueBeam, which is meaningfully contributing to net order oncology growth.
Moreover, Varian enjoys a strong balance sheet marked by minimal debt and sizeable cash. The company uses a part of its healthy cash flows for share repurchases.
However, Varian competes with larger players in a technology-intensive industry. Further, uncertainties stemming from health care reform and a still weak hospital capital spending environment across many developed countries, especially in Europe, are significant challenges. We are currently Neutral on the stock, backed by a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).