Arizona Oncology Announces Acquisition of Novalis, Tx


Arizona Oncology Announces Acquisition of Novalis Tx™ - One of the World's Most Powerful and Versatile Platforms for Non-Invasive, Image-Guided Radiosurgery and Radiotherapy

New system combines industry-leading technologies from Varian Medical Systems and BrainLAB, offering a wide range of non-invasive options for treating cancer and other abnormalities of the brain and body
Tucson, Arizona
January, 2009
Arizona Oncology has acquired a Novalis Tx™ treatment device for image-guided radiosurgery, in order to offer patients fast, accurate non-surgical treatments for cancer and other conditions in the brain, head, neck, and body.  Novalis Tx incorporates advanced imaging, treatment planning, and treatment delivery technologies from Varian Medical Systems
and BrainLAB, enabling doctors to carry out highly precise, non-invasive image-guided radiosurgery procedures with great precision.

Image-guided radiosurgery (IGRS) involves delivering precisely focused, high-energy radiation to a localized area to destroy tumors throughout the body that often cannot be addressed by conventional surgery, including some malignant and benign lesions, brain metastases, arteriovenous malformations, and other functional conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia.  Treatments to other areas of the body include, breast, spine, lung, prostate and liver.

“These treatments are delivered from outside the body to destroy tumors or ablate  targeted abnormalities without an incision, so patients treated in this way can avoid hospitalization, lengthy recovery periods, and many of the complications often associated with conventional surgery,” said David Frye, M.D.  “Radiosurgery is an outpatient procedure and patients typically walk out of the clinic to resume their normal activities that same day. Novalis Tx offers us unparalleled image guidance tools and treatment beam sculpting capabilities, so we can achieve a precise level of targeting to protect the patient’s healthy tissue during a radiosurgery procedure.”
Novalis Tx combines a powerful linear accelerator, which rotates around the patient to deliver treatment beams from virtually any angle with a set of advanced image guidance and motion management tools that guide patient set up and positioning, and monitor motion during treatment.  A high-definition multi-leaf collimator shapes the treatment beam so it matches the shape of the tumor from every angle.  Novalis Tx can be used to deliver frameless radiosurgery treatments, a more patient-friendly alternative to other systems that require immobilization with a head ring that attaches to the skull.
To ensure precise treatments, Novalis Tx incorporates three imaging systems.  “One provides us with information about the precise location and shape of the tumor prior to treatment and the other tracks motion, during treatment, so we can adjust our targeting if the patient shifts by even a few millimeters.  The third enables us to verify treatment accuracy.  There are also tools for synchronizing treatment with the patient’s normal breathing patterns that we can use to compensate for motion when treating in or near the lungs,” said Dr. Frye.
Additional features of Novalis Tx include:
  • Radiosurgery treatment planning software that facilitates collaboration between doctors and other clinicians through a web-based network, so that Arizona Oncology’s radiation oncologists can easily confer with their neurosurgical colleagues and other referring physicians in the community.
  • A 6D robotic treatment couch that moves in all three dimensions, and also tilts and pivots, for ultra-precise patient positioning. 
  • A comprehensive oncology information system that compiles patient data into one electronic medical record, eliminating the need for paper files and films.
The versatility of the Novalis Tx platform will make it possible for doctors at Arizona Oncology to offer the most appropriate form of treatment based on patients’ specific needs, from stereotactic radiosurgery—a very fast treatment designed to eradicate a tiny lesion in a single session—to longer courses of image-guided radiotherapy, with lower-dose treatments spread out over more sessions. 

Regardless of the type of treatment prescribed, the powerful Novalis Tx can deliver it very quickly, so that patients spend little time immobilized on the treatment table.  “Fast treatments are, of course, easier on the patient,” said Dr. Frye.  “It’s hard for anyone to hold still for long periods of time and movement can compromise treatment accuracy.  With Novalis Tx, treatments that would have taken up to an hour or more using other techniques can be completed in minutes, with no compromise in accuracy.” 

Doctors at Arizona Oncology plan to use Novalis Tx to offer non-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery procedures for a diverse spectrum of conditions, including spine, lung, liver, and prostate cancer.  "With Novalis Tx, we're entering a new age of medicine and making surgery without an incision a reality for the people of our community," Dr. Frye said.