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Varian to acquire humediQ Global

by Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
Varian announced plans to acquire humediQ Global GmbH, maker of IDENTIFY, which handles patient identification, positioning and motion management for radiation therapy.

“We are pleased to welcome the humediQ Global employees to the expanding Varian family in the region and add the comprehensive IDENTIFY solution to our portfolio," said Kolleen Kennedy, president of Varian's Oncology Systems business, in a statement.

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IDENTIFY's automated workflow solution for surface-guided radiation therapy (SGRT) uses a palm reader to identify patients, and an RFID reader to ensure correct accessory verification and placement on the treatment couch. It automatically syncs with the oncology information system and SGRT cameras to verify proper patient positioning and motion monitoring during treatment.

“The IDENTIFY solution combines improved patient safety, an enhanced clinical workflow and surface-guided imaging for high-quality radiation therapy treatments,” said Christian Hieronimi, CEO of humediQ Global in a statement, "we are excited to join Varian and bring this solution to as many patients as possible worldwide.”

Varian has been in the deal news lately with other firms. In April, Brainlab announced a deal with the company to integrate its ExacTrac tumor motion detection technology with TrueBeam and Edge linear accelerator systems.

"The new agreement with Varian opens up Edge for a third party device, which Varian has been marketing as a 'closed platform,'" Stefan Vilsmeier, president and CEO of Brainlab, told HCB News.

ExacTrac is an in-room X-ray-based monitoring system that detects intra-fractional tumor motion regardless of the couch angle or gantry position. Only versions 5.x, 6.x and new product generations currently under development are included in this deal.

The technology ensures that the same treatment plan automatically loads on all systems involved, and provides DICOM RT export of the ExacTrac positioning data to Varian’s ARIA oncology information system. That allows any detected patient setup errors to be corrected automatically.

Also in April, Varian updated its cancer imaging software with SIRT dosimetry capabilities, when it announced that Velocity 4.0 could be purchased and equipped to provide Y90 Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) dosimetry analysis.

“We can take the image from the post-therapy emission tomography scan, which shows the distribution of activity in normal liver and tumor volumes, and compute the absorbed dose delivered to these anatomical structures,” Tim Fox, senior director of Imaging Informatics at Varian, told HCB News. “Thus, we are able to convert the injected activity to delivered dose, to better understand the dose-volume relationships associated with response and toxicity.”

The software is also equipped with Velocity M3i, enabling multi-modality motion imaging with simultaneous displays and contouring of up to ten imaging studies, with deformable image registration. Studies can be derived from CT, MR, PET, SPECT, ultrasound, 4DCT or CBCT.

In March, Varian made international news when the first patient successfully completed treatment at the new PTC St. Petersburg Center of Nuclear Medicine of the Sergey Berzin Medical Institute. The pediatric patient had a brain tumor, which was treated in its two treatment room facility using the company's ProBeam proton therapy system.

“This is a new possibility for oncology patients, especially pediatric patients,” Dr. Arkadi Stolpner, president of the Sergey Berezin Medical Institute, told HCB News, adding that the majority of patients currently undergoing treatment at the facility are children.

Clinicians at PTC St. Petersburg Center of Nuclear Medicine of the Sergey Berzin Medical Institute expect to treat approximately 1,000 patients annually.

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