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Tickers in this Article: VAR, ARAY
Oncology and X-Ray products company Varian Medical Systems (VAR) recently revealed that it has provided a grant of $100,000 to the American Board of Radiology Foundation to set up a nation-wide brachytherapy registry.   

According to the American Board of Radiology, this project permits it to enhance its accountability before the public on the proper usage of radiation therapy and medical imaging. As per Varian, the endeavor will permit gathering of vital data for creating fact-based therapy protocols.

Brachytherapy entails providing radiation therapy by positioning minute radioactive substances into any tumor-related area of the human body. This method is intended to maximize dosage on the targeted area while minimizing damage to neighboring healthy cells.   

Varian is a leading manufacturer of integrated radiotherapy systems for cancer treatment and a premier supplier of X-ray tubes for diagnostic imaging applications. The company operates in a technology-driven environment where success depends on the use of new technology, product development and upgrades. In the radiation oncology market, Varian competes with Accuray (ARAY).

The company is poised to increase its market share in radiation oncology. It currently enjoys a healthy demand for its coveted TrueBeam technology, which has meaningfully contributed to its net order oncology growth. Varian's TrueBeam was designed to treat tumors with beams of high speed and precision. It incorporates several technological innovations such as patient positioning and managing his/her motion. TrueBeam can dispense dosage roughly four times faster than that possible with earlier equipment.

Moreover, Varian enjoys a strong balance sheet marked by low debt and moderate cash. The company from time to time uses a part of its healthy cash flow for share repurchases.

Varian competes with larger players in a technology-intensive industry. Further, uncertainties stemming from health care reform and a still weak hospital capital spending environment across many developed countries, especially in Europe, are significant challenges.

We are currently 'Neutral' on Varian. The stock retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.

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