New oncology treatment system now operational at Benefis

The first Varian EDGE Radiosurgery System in Montana is now operational at Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute.

The Varian EDGE is a radiation oncology treatment system that serves as a non-invasive alternative to surgery. The machine uses sophisticated tracking and targeting technology to deliver precision radiosurgery treatments to a patient while compensating for their body movement. This allows for increased accuracy when treating tumors that move when a patient breathes, such as those in the lungs or abdomen. With this advanced technology, the EDGE can target and treat tumors and other abnormalities in the brain, spine, lung, and other difficult to treat areas, according to Benefis. 

The machine cost more than $4 million total and of that, $1 million was raised by donors to the Benefis Foundation.

“We can’t thank the residents of Great Falls and Northcentral Montana enough for their continued generosity. The many people who made donations to the Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute fund through the Benefis Health System Foundation helped make this new technology a reality at Benefis,” said Kristi Jarrett, Director of Cancer Programs at Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute.


The Varian EDGE system is now operational at Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute. Photo courtesy of Benefis Health System

The Varian EDGE was used to complete its first procedure at Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute on Oct. 23.

“The Varian EDGE combines technologies from both the Varian Linear Accelerator and the CyberKnife into one machine, significantly reducing treatment times and giving us increased flexibility to control the dose distribution during treatments,” said Dr. Berna DeMalignon, Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute Radiation Oncologist., “A radiosurgery procedure that previously took 30 to 90 minutes can now be completed in five to 20 minutes with the Varian EDGE.”