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Tickers in this Article: VAR, ARAY
Oncology and X-Ray products company Varian Medical Systems (VAR) recently revealed its latest EDGE radiosurgery suite, which is a composite system for radiosurgery, utilizing management of motion and tumor monitoring know how.

The popularity of radiosurgery to treat cancer has been on the rise. Radiosurgery utilizes complex hardware and software to ablate tumors with strong radiation while reducing damage to nearby normal cells.

The EDGE radiosurgery suite offers features such as numerous beam configuring options, guidance of image, timely tools for management of movement and the Eclipse software for planning treatment.   

Medical practitioners based in the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal, along with other professionals, evaluated the EDGE radiotherapy suite during its inception phase. The EDGE radiosurgery suite is at present waiting for FDA 510 (k) clearance and has not been commercialized.  

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 its 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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