US-based radiation therapy firm Varian Medical Systems has obtained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for its updated ProBeam proton therapy system.

This solution features capabilities similar to those found in the Varian TrueBeam system for radiotherapy and the TrueBeam STx for radiosurgery.

Varian intensity modulation proton therapy (IMPT) uses dynamic peak technology to enable clinicians to customise and maximise the radiation dose to a tumour, while delivering lower global doses to healthy tissue.

This technology makes it easier for targeting tumours with complex shapes, or tumours that wrap around critical structures such as the spinal cord.

Irradiations from multiple angles are combined in an optimal manner to improve control of dose distributions.

Scanning beam technology also eliminates the time-consuming need to manually insert separate shaping accessories for each beam angle in order to match the beam to the shape of the tumour.

"This technology makes it easier for targeting tumours with complex shapes."

Varian has equipped the Rinecker Proton Therapy Centre (RPTC) in Munich, Germany with IMPT technology, reportedly the site of first clinical IMPT treatments. The centre has now treated over 1,500 patients.

The company also has contracts to install ProBeam systems at six sites, with four in the US, one in Saudi Arabia, and one in Russia.

Varian is a premier supplier of tubes, digital detectors, and image processing workstations for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications.

The company employs approximately 6,400 people at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China, and has around 72 sales and support offices worldwide.

Image: ProBeam proton therapy system. Photo: courtesy of Varian Medical Systems.