Varian Medical Systems Continues to Perfect Cancer Treatments in a COVID-19 World

By Logan Wamsley

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a range of repercussions for the medical industry, both direct and indirect, one of which is the effects it has had on cancer treatments. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cancer is the second leading cause of death known, trailing only heart disease. By 2025, approximately 25 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed every year. With COVID-19 making it into the Top 10 leading causes of death in 2020, hospitals have become strained in having the resources to properly care for both. In order to offer more room for COVID-19 patients, many cancer specialty hospitals have either shut down entirely or have converted into COVID care centers.

In this difficult environment, healthcare equipment manufacturers are being put to the test to develop innovative tools that will allow medical professionals to maximize the availability of treatments to patients. One such solution is being developed by Varian Medical Systems, who just announced that the Goshen Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana, has treated its first patient with Ethos therapy, its latest offering.

Designed to deliver an entire adaptive treatment within a 15-minute timeframe, the Ethos therapy system combines image-guided radiation therapy with artificial intelligence adaptive capabilities in one system, creating workflow efficiencies that benefit both patient and clinician. Incorporating multi-modality images, it also allows medical professionals to personalize the patient’s treatment based on their anatomy and position at the time of treatment.

“In the 25 years I have been in the field of radiation oncology, adaptive radiotherapy is the most revolutionary technology I have seen,” said John P. Lowden, MS, DABR, Medical Physicist, Goshen Center for Cancer Care. “Ethos allows community cancer centers like Goshen Center for Cancer Care to provide adaptive daily treatments in an affordable and efficient package that keeps patient-centered design at its core.”

Ethos therapy is particularly ideal for patients who do not have easy access to major metropolitan cities or academic medical centers, and with its 15-minute timeslot between patient setup and patient delivery, even the busiest system strained by additional COVID-19 treatments will be able to offer the most advanced and effective cancer treatment available without compromise.

“Every patient deserves personalized cancer care,” said Chris Toth, president of Varian Oncology Systems. “Varian is honored to be working with Goshen Health as one of the first hospitals nationally to bring Ethos adaptive treatments to patients and help all of us move closer to creating a world without fear of cancer.”