LONDON, May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- European cancer experts have reported on developments of some promising radiosurgical techniques for treating lung and liver cancer using new linear accelerator technology from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR). Among the achievements outlined at a packed "Emerging Technologies Symposium" at the annual conference of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO) in London was the ability to treat metastatic liver cancer, an often inoperable condition, with high dose rate radiosurgery by using RapidArc® radiotherapy on Varian's TrueBeam™ platform.

In front of an audience of more than 500 oncology professionals, clinicians from leading cancer centers in Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands gave detailed accounts of pioneering radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatments at their centers. The program was chaired and moderated by Dr. David Landau, consultant clinical oncologist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and honorary senior lecturer at Kings College, London, UK.

Dr. Marta Scorsetti, head of radiation oncology at the Humanitas Clinic in Milan, described an ongoing study involving 43 patients that is aimed at assessing the safety and feasibility of using RapidArc to deliver stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) in the treatment of liver metastases. Results, after seven months, were a local tumor control rate of nearly 94%.

"There is undoubtedly a great need for improved therapies for liver cancers that cannot be treated surgically, especially those larger than 5 centimeters," said Dr. Scorsetti. "Advances in tumor imaging, radiation therapy planning, and motion management have made it possible for high dose radiation therapy to be used safely for treating liver metastases. SBRT offers the possibility of a non-invasive treatment, delivered in few treatment sessions."

Professor Ben Slotman, head of radiation oncology at VU University Medical Center