Varian (NYSE: VAR) announced Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa is the first hospital in Africa to deliver High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy treatments with the Bravos™ afterloader system. Bravos is an integrated system designed to improve the patient and clinic experience by simplifying brachytherapy treatments and providing greater workflow efficiency.
HDR brachytherapy involves delivering radiotherapy by temporarily placing a tiny radioactive source directly into the tumor or other targeted area. Using an afterloader, clinicians are able to position the radioactive source in a needle, catheter or tumor-specific applicator following a pattern that has been designed to create a highly conformal dose distribution within or on the surface of the patient’s anatomy. Once the treatment is completed, the after loader safely returns the source to the after loader.
To simplify the treatment process, the Bravos after loader features a touchscreen control and instinctive LED lights. The touchscreen provides easy access to patient treatment information on the after loader, eliminating the need for the clinician to leave the room to retrieve patient and treatment information.
To help increase efficiency of the treatment process, Bravos features a customizable pre-treatment checklist on the touchscreen. Like surgical procedures, the customizable checklist allows the clinician to set a review process including a time-out for patient safety, and e-signatures for speed and accuracy.
“We have been very impressed with Varian’s new afterloader technology and it is a big advancement from our previous system,” said Nanette Joubert, acting head, Medical Physics, Groote Schuur Hospital. “The Bravos system easily integrated with our Varian ARIA oncology information system and allowed us to quickly and safely begin seeing a full schedule of patients.”
“The Bravos system was quickly and easily integrated into the department to start treating gynecology cancer patients,” said Professor Jeannette Parkes, head of Division Radiation Oncology at Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town. “This is one of the largest groups of patients in our setting. In the future, we are looking forward to extending the brachytherapy program to treat prostate cancer patients, head and neck patients and possibly other groups of cancer patients with HDR brachytherapy.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with Groote Schuur Hospital to bring this advanced brachytherapy technology to cancer patients in South Africa,” said Vincent Ronfle, sales operations director Africa, Varian Oncology Systems EMEIA. “The Varian team conducted extensive global clinical research to better understand the needs of clinicians and patients to help simplify the brachytherapy treatment process. The result was Bravos and it is another important step towards creating a world without fear of cancer.”