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Varian and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati Medical Center Proton Therapy Center Achieve Significant Milestone in Research of FLASH Therapy

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Varian (NYSE: VAR) in collaboration with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati Medical Center Proton Therapy Center announced the achievement of a significant milestone in the path towards clinical trials of FLASH therapy*. The combined research team utilized a Varian ProBeam® proton therapy gantry treatment room in research mode to successfully complete a FLASH delivery to a phantom target. This test is the world’s first lung SBRT FLASH delivery using a proton system.

The test centered around the investigation of whether a commercial proton therapy system in research mode could deliver a therapeutic dose at FLASH dose rates of at least 100 Gy/sec to a lung lesion in an SBRT phantom within clinically acceptable tolerances.

“We used the Varian Eclipse system to plan and target a lung lesion on an SBRT phantom with three non-coplanar fields,” explained Anthony Mascia, director of Medical Physics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati Medical Center Proton Therapy Center. “The fields were delivered to film and the ion-chamber and measurements were recorded and compared to the treatment planning system using the common gamma index test.”

“We were pleased to see that our integrated system in research mode can create FLASH plans and deliver FLASH lung SBRT within clinically acceptable criteria,” said Kolleen Kennedy, chief growth officer and president of Proton Therapy Solutions, Varian. “This positive result has immediate impact on pre-clinical animal studies exploring the nature of the FLASH effect with protons and supports proton therapy as a viable modality to deliver FLASH treatments to humans.”

FLASH Therapy is a non-invasive treatment using an external beam delivered in high doses, at ultra-high speeds (less than 1 second), and in one to three sessions. This new therapy is currently in the pre-clinical testing phase but represents an exciting and potentially promising new direction in the treatment of cancer.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati Medical Center Proton Therapy Center is a founding member of the FlashForward Consortium, whose mission is to continue research and build an evidence-based introduction of FLASH Therapy using the ProBeam® platform.

For more information, visit www.varian.com/flashforward.

*FLASH therapy is under preclinical research. It is not available for clinical use and there is no guarantee of future commercialization.

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