Varian Medical spotlights New Edge radiosurgery suite for non-invasive surgical procedures


The Edge radiosurgery suite, a technology system for rapidly delivering precise, non-invasive surgical procedures in the treatment of cancer, is among the medical innovations that Varian Medical Systems is showcasing at the 27th International Medical Instruments & Equipment Exhibition (26–28 March, Beijing, China).

“The Edge radiosurgery system offers clinicians a non-invasive alternative to traditional surgery. It accurately targets tumours and other abnormalities without an incision or the need for recovery in a hospital setting,” said Dee Khuntia, Varian’s vice president for medical affairs and chief medical officer. “Cancer specialists can use the Edge system to accurately target tumours of the brain, spine, lung, and other areas that are typically difficult to treat surgically.”

As a non-invasive option, radiosurgery use in the USA has been growing steadily over the last decade for the treatment of cancer and other conditions that can be appropriately treated with focused radiation. Predictions are that it will continue to grow as research accrues about the benefits to patients. Radiosurgery involves the use of sophisticated software and hardware to ablate tumours or other abnormalities with high doses of radiation while minimising exposure of surrounding healthy tissue. Varian says that the Edge system can complete sophisticated radiosurgery treatments in just a few minutes—much faster than earlier generations of technology.

Edge was first unveiled in 2012 in the United States, and received clearance from the CFDA of China in 2014. As of March 2015, Edge systems had been installed and used at cancer centres in the USA, UK, Portugal, Italy, and Switzerland. Users have reported over 1,000 patients have now been treated using Edge technology, for lung, brain, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and other types of cancer.

Clinicians at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, USA, were the first to use the Edge radiosurgery system in the USA. They have been presenting studies at the scientific meetings of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

“Last year, we reported that the Edge radiosurgery system can deliver dose to a targeted tumour with sub-millimetre accuracy,” said Salim Siddiqui, director of the stereotactic radiosurgery programme at Henry Ford. “Compared with many other robot- or frame-based radiosurgery systems, the Edge is more convenient, more robust, more versatile, and substantially more efficient because it can be used to target multiple tumours at once and can treat anywhere in the body. Moreover, with the capability to deliver 2,400 monitor units per minute, some treatments can be completed up to four times faster than on other systems.”

“The Edge offers multiple advanced imaging modalities, including on-demand X-ray imaging and 4-D cone-beam computed tomography, for localisation and tracking of the patient’s position throughout the treatment, which has greatly enhanced our confidence in the accuracy and efficiency of frameless stereotactic treatment,” added Ning Wen, stereotactic radiosurgery physics lead. “It has given us a variety of strategies to take aim at cancer.”