Press Releases

Scotland´s First Novalis TX™ Treatment Launched

Latest cancer advance available to Scottish patients

Scotland welcomes a new cancer treatment system today, as the Novalis Tx™ goes into service at The Western General Hospital, Edinburgh. The state-of-the-art radiotherapy machine, developed by Varian Medical Systems and Brainlab, has the ability to destroy cancerous cells virtually anywhere in the body in a single, 20-minute session.

The Novalis Tx™, installed at The Edinburgh Cancer Centre at The Western General Hospital, treats cancer using a specialised technique called radiosurgery, which is especially beneficial for small malignant and benign tumours of the brain. With around 29,500 new cases of cancer in Scotland each year, the first Scottish Novalis Tx™ will help support cancer treatment targets as it is able to treat many more patients with advanced radiation than previous systems.

Using powerful, highly accurate beams of radiation shaped to fit the precise shape of even the most complex tumours, the system is able to treat painlessly without the need for invasive surgery and with fewer side effects. The short treatment times of the system benefit both doctor and patient; and mean more patients can be treated on the system in one day.

Dr Sara Erridge, Radiation Oncologist at The Edinburgh Cancer Centre welcomes the eagerly awaited technology; “We are delighted that our centre is the first in Scotland to start treating with Novalis TxTM. Unlike some other highly specialised radiation treatment machines, the Novalis Tx™ can treat many different types of cancer all over the body allowing us to treat more cancer patients with a single device without sacrifice of clinical accuracy. In our first year we are looking to treat 700 patients with the Novalis Tx™, 100 of which will be patients with brain tumours where precise, non-invasive treatment is particularly important as it can reduce the risk of damage to normal tissue.”

“Speaking at the launch of the new equipment, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Nicola Sturgeon said: “Improving cancer survival rates and cancer treatment and care are a key priorities for NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government.

“The new equipment we are launching today, funded as part of the National Radiotherapy Capital Equipment Replacement Programme, will enable the Edinburgh Cancer Centre to more effectively target radiation of malignant tumours using state-of-the art imaging and robotics.

“This will help clinicians at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre greatly improve cancer treatment for patients from the Lothians and beyond, and support the work we will be undertaking through the Detect Cancer Early Plan to improve cancer survival rates throughout Scotland.”

The Scottish Novalis Tx™ system is the third to be installed in the UK, improving access to advanced cancer care to patients with further sites in Liverpool and Manchester.

About Brainlab

Brainlab develops, manufactures and markets software-driven medical technology that supports targeted, less-invasive treatment. Core products are image-guided systems and software that provide real-time information used for surgical navigation and radiosurgical planning and delivery.

Brainlab technology drives collaboration between hospitals and clinicians from a wide variety of subspecialties—from neurosurgery and oncology to orthopedics, ENT, CMF and spine and trauma. This integration delivers better access to improved and more efficient treatment.

Founded in 1989, the privately held Brainlab group has more than 5,000 systems installed in over 80 countries. Based in Munich, Germany, Brainlab employs 970 people in 16 offices worldwide.

To learn more, visit www.brainlab.com.

About Varian Medical Systems

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centres and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection.

Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 5,100 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, China, and Europe and in its 79 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit www.varian.com.

About Edinburgh Cancer Centre at Western General Hospital
Edinburgh Cancer Centre is the leading cancer centre in Scotland, treating about 3600 patients every year using a variety of radiotherapy techniques.

Press enquiries to:
Aileen MacArthur
Communications Manager
NHS Lothian
Tel: 0131 465 5646
Email: aileen.macarthur@nhs.net

Emma Lewis-Griffiths
Senior Account Executive
Pegasus PR (Brainlab Press Office)
Tel: 01903 821550
Email: elewisgriffiths@pegasuspr.co.uk