Varian Medical Systems

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For other uses of "Varian", see Varian (disambiguation).
Varian Medical Systems Inc.
Traded as NYSEVAR
S&P 500 Component
Industry Medical Technology
Founded 1948
Headquarters Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Key people
Dow R. Wilson, President and CEO
Products Medical Devices
  • Increase US$ 2,942.897 million (2013) [1]
  • Increase US$ 2,807.015 million (2012) [1]
  • Increase US$ 608.89 million (2013) [1]
  • Increase US$ 594.074 million (2012) [1]
  • Increase US$ 438.248 million (2013) [1]
  • Increase US$ 427.049 million (2012) [1]
Total assets
  • Increase US$ 3,468.474 million (2013) [2]
  • Increase US$ 2,878.726 million (2012) [1]
Total equity
  • Increase US$ 1,713.847 million (2013) [2]
  • Increase US$ 1,509.776 million (2012) [1]
Number of employees

Varian Medical Systems (VAR) of Palo Alto, California, USA, is the world leader in radiation oncology treatments and software. These medical devices include linear accelerators and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The company supplies software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers, and medical oncology practices. Varian is a supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical diagnostics, dentistry, veterinary care, scientific, security, industrial inspection including high-energy X-ray technology for cargo screening. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,350 people at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world.[3]


Varian was founded in 1948 as Varian Associates by Russell H. Varian, Sigurd F. Varian, William Webster Hansen, and Edward Ginzton to sell the Klystron, the first tube which could generate electromagnetic waves at microwave frequencies, and other electromagnetic equipment.

By 1999, Varian Associates had branched into semiconductor, vacuum tube, and medical device fields. On April 2, 1999 these divisions split to become Varian Semiconductor, Varian, Inc. and Varian Medical Systems.

Corporate affairs[edit]

Varian headquarters in Palo Alto

Varian corporate headquarters is in Palo Alto, California. In September 2012, Dow Wilson replaced Timothy Guertin as President and CEO. Guertin had been the CEO since 2006 when he replaced Richard M. Levy, who had been with Varian for 37 years and still serves as chairman of the board of directors. Wilson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, and holds an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Varian operates a corporate philanthropy and charitable giving organization through the Varian Medical Systems Foundation. It operates within the Community Foundation of Silicon Valley (CFSV).



One of the company's newest products is the EDGE™ Radiosurgery Suite. A fully integrated, dedicated system for performing advanced radiosurgery using new real-time tumor tracking technology and motion management capabilities. The first cancer centers to receive this new technology were the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal and Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan.[3]

Proton Therapy[edit]

Varian manufactures the ProBeam Proton Therapy System currently running at RPTC Rinecker Proton Therapy Center in Munich, Germany and Scripps proton-therapy in San Diego, California. These are an all pencil-beam scanning proton therapy system utilizing IMPT video which was developed with PSI of Switzerland. The equally important medical software and radiology information system developed by Varian is the eclipse for proton treatment-planning system.


Varian has facilities in California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brazil, Canada, United Arab Emirates and Australia.


Acquired companies[edit]

Varian Medical Systems has acquired other companies including Pan-Pacific Enterprises,[8] ACCEL Instruments,[9] Bio-Imaging Research, Inc.[10] Sigma Micro Informatique Conseil,[11] and Argus Software.[12]

Free speech litigation[edit]

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. sued a former employee for defamation in Varian v. Delfino. The terminated employee Dr. Michelangelo Delfino posted numerous messages criticizing the company on the Internet. The case finally settled on undisclosed terms. The lawsuit itself was controversial, heavily publicized, and led to a landmark ruling about California's anti-SLAPP statute. Some market-based workers rights activists uphhold Delfino as an example because he mortgaged his house to pay his legal bills related to the lawsuit with Varian.

University of Pittsburgh litigation[edit]

On April 25, 2012 a US federal judge in Pittsburgh awarded attorney fees, costs, and doubled damages totaling $73.6 million to the University of Pittsburgh after the university won a suit on medical patent infringement grounds against Varian.[13]


External links[edit]