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Varian Taps Google Cloud in its Battle for Better Cancer Outcomes

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The collaboration comes at a time when Varian is being acquired by Siemens Healthineers.

Varian is employing the use of artificial intelligence to build out a diagnostic platform to aid in the fight against cancer. To accomplish this mission the Palo Alto, CA-based company is teaming up with Google Cloud.

Varian and Google Cloud AI will work together to create AI models for organ segmentation – a crucial and labor-intensive step in radiation oncology that can be a bottleneck in the cancer treatment clinical workflow.

In some regions of the world, segmentation is a limiting factor in cancer patients' access to advanced treatments like intensity-modulated radiotherapy that require accurate organ segmentation.

Google Cloud AI Platform’s NAS technology will be used to create an AI segmentation engine that is being "trained," using Varian's treatment planning image data, to create customized auto-segmentation models for organs in the body. Varian said it intends to incorporate these models into its treatment planning software tools for use in cancer centers around the world.

"At Varian, we are working towards a world without fear of cancer, where high-quality cancer care—personalized and optimized for each patient—is available everywhere. To that end, we have committed ourselves to Intelligent Cancer Care, which seeks to automate routine or repetitive tasks in the radiation oncology workflow through the use of smart algorithms, machine learning, and AI," said Corey Zankowski, Senior Vice President, Technology and Innovation Office, Varian. "This collaboration with Google Cloud will turbocharge our efforts in this area."

Varian is in the middle of being acquired by Siemens Healthineers. The Erlangen, Germany-based company is acquiring Varian for about $16.4 billion to expand its reach into cancer care. The deal was announced in August of 2020 and was one of the biggest that occurred that year.

The acquisition is set to close at the first half of the year.

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