South Florida patients who are candidates for radiosurgery now have the most advanced technology available at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – University of Miami Health System. Sylvester is now home to the fastest, most powerful model of CyberKnife® currently on the market.
The Accuray CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System does not involve any cutting; instead it delivers a powerful, pinpoint precision beam of radiation to tumors, sparing healthy tissue nearby. Physicians are able to use CyberKnife on cancer of the prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas and kidney, providing a non-invasive alternative to surgery for treating tumors.
Sylvester/UMHC — University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, is the first medical facility anywhere to acquire the most advanced linear accelerator available for CyberKnife. Alan Pollack, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chairman of radiation oncology at the Miller School of Medicine, explains that because “this model of CyberKnife delivers radiation at a faster rate, Sylvester patients are able to complete their treatment sessions in a shorter time.”
The CyberKnife system has complete range of motion, so it can be positioned to target cancer anywhere in the body, giving options to patients who would otherwise have no choices. In addition, the CyberKnife employs superior accuracy with the ability to track and target tumors, even as they move within the body due to normal functions. This technology allows Sylvester radiation oncologists to deliver concentrated doses of radiation to the tumor itself without immobilizing or sedating patients, and without hitting healthy tissue.
Pollack, a renowned radiation oncologist, says the real difference comes from the fact that the CyberKnife is in the hands of site disease specialists at Sylvester. “Because this technology is being used by clinical investigators who focus on specific cancers, our patients will have access to novel applications in clinical trials designed to take full advantage of the unique capabilities of the CyberKnife.”
A high-resolution CT scan is used to map the exact size, shape and location of the tumor. Once the treatment plan is developed, the patient lies on the table, while the CyberKnife System’s computer-controlled robot moves around, delivering precise doses of radiation to the exact points of the tumor. Each session lasts between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on the type of tumor, and a treatment cycle is typically completed in one to five days. In comparison, traditional radiation treatments can take as many as 40 treatments.
“We intend to push this technology to its limits with the goal of improving tumor control while lowering patient toxicity,” says Pollack. “Being at an academic cancer center and working closely with academic medical physicists and other disease site physician specialists in medical and surgical oncology, have resulted in the development of conceptually new approaches that have tremendous promise.”
“Adding the CyberKnife to our treatment arsenal,” adds Pollack, “is another key reason for patients to come to Sylvester/UMHC. Arming our top-notch physicians with the most advanced model of CyberKnife means Sylvester patients will have the optimum combination of disease site specialization and technology, a powerful combination that sets Sylvester apart and maximizes cure rates.”
For more information, go to www.sylvester.org or call 305-243-7278.
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