Cancer Patients at Holy Cross Health Receive Benefits of Varian Ethos™ Therapy

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven holistic approach provides advanced radiotherapy cancer treatment

May 5, 2022 – The Michael and Dianne Bienes Comprehensive Cancer Center at Holy Cross Health is advancing treatment for cancer patients in South Florida and the Caribbean with the first Varian Ethos™ Adaptive Intelligence system.

Holy Cross Health radiation oncologists, Lav Goyal, M.D. and Vivek Patel, M.D., began Ethos therapy treatments in February and have treated more than a dozen patients using the hospital’s new system. Patients were treated for disease throughout the body including the abdomen, pelvis and extremities.

“The Ethos system is able to do adaptive planning in a rapid fashion,” said Dr. Patel. “The importance of this machine is that with it we can do adaptive planning, which means as the tumor is changing in real time, the machine is able to adapt to that specific volume, so we get a higher dose to the tumor and less dose to organs at risk, resulting in less side effects.”

Ethos therapy is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven holistic solution designed to increase the capability, flexibility and efficiency of radiotherapy. This new solution is designed to deliver an entire adaptive treatment in a typical 15-minute timeslot, from patient setup through treatment delivery. With Ethos therapy, changes in the anatomy that occur during the course of treatment are detected and accounted for when administering the targeted radiation.

At 75, Gordon Scherer, a Holy Cross Health patient, had cancerous tumors in his prostate and rectum and was among the first patients to receive treatment on Ethos therapy. His tumors were close to the bladder, bones, bowel and other critical structures.

“My friends, all 72 to 80, are all dealing with prostate issues,” Scherer said. “My doctors are going after both the prostate and rectal cancer with radiation. We caught both problems early, making them curable or at least giving me a chance to put them in remission.”

“If the shape of the prostate, bladder or rectum change on a daily basis, as they often do, we can actually adapt and change the therapy right before we treat the patient,” said Dr. Goyal. “Every day the patient gets an individualized plan that is 100% correct for their anatomy. In doing so, we can do a much better job of treating the prostate and avoiding the other organs. Treatment is quicker and provides a more convenient and safe treatment modality.”

The procedure takes 10 to 12 minutes in the machine. Unlike a MRI machine, the Ethos machine has a wider entry and is shorter, and the patient’s head remains outside the machine during the procedure.

This is a transformational moment for cancer care, according to President of Varian Oncology Systems Chris Toth. “Every patient deserves access to the best and most personalized cancer care,” he said. “Adaptive therapy is the future of personalized radiation therapy, and we are excited Holy Cross Health has begun delivering the promises of Ethos therapy. Powered by AI, Ethos therapy will allow doctors and clinicians to adapt and personalize dose to every patient, every day in a typical treatment timeslot.”

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