Varian Medical Systems, of Palo Alto, Calif., has received FDA 510(k) clearances for a revolutionary advance in cancer treatment that the company said will change the way radiation therapy is planned and delivered.

RapidArc radiotherapy technology allows for complete intensity-modulated radiation therapy treatment in a single rotation of the machine around the patient. Image-guided IMRT can be achieved two to eight times faster and more precisely than is possible with conventional IMRT or helical tomotherapy, according to Varian.

"Our primary goal with this product is to improve clinical outcomes," said Dow Wilson, president of Varian’s Oncology Systems business. “In addition, we discovered that we could simultaneously improve treatment efficiency significantly. RapidArc should make better-quality radiotherapy a more affordable, more accessible treatment option, and enable more cancer patients to receive a higher standard of care."

The two FDA clearances for RapidArc are related to the treatment hardware and the RapidArc treatment planning software module in Varian’s Eclipse treatment planning system.

The company will begin taking orders for RapidArc immediately, and customers should expect their deliveries this spring.