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Published on January 15, 2015

Tumors Have Nowhere to Hide: Gibbs Introduces CyberKnife 


Advanced cancer fighting technology has arrived in the Upstate. It is the CyberKnife® Radiosurgery System located at Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute at Pelham, conveniently located off I-85 at 2759 South Highway 14 in Greer, SC.

It is the one word no one ever wants to hear their doctor say – cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.6 million Americans received that diagnosis in 2013. Being or having a loved one diagnosed with cancer is frightening, stressful and overwhelming. The good news is that the majority of Americans can continue to live full lives following their initial diagnosis thanks to the new medical technology and treatments now available such as CyberKnife Radiosurgery System.

In the past, having a cancerous tumor removed meant undergoing invasive surgery and recuperating in the hospital for days. Today, doctors have access to CyberKnife, the innovative technology that targets and eliminates many types of cancerous tumors without surgery or even a scar, or an overnight hospital stay.

“Older radiation treatment technology was like building a house with a hammer, nails and a handsaw. CyberKnife technology is more like the computerized components used to build space age equipment,” said Dr. Julian Josey, a radiation oncologist at the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute. “CyberKnife places the radiation-producing machine on a computerized robotic arm that beams the radiation with sub-millimeter precision.”

A unique and important feature of the CyberKnife System is its robotic tracking technology that enables continuous coordination with a patient’s tumor movement during treatment. This is especially crucial for patients receiving treatment for lung and prostate cancer – two areas that are in constant motion. Because of the CyberKnife System’s ability to continuously track and adjust in real-time, in combination with its sub-millimeter accuracy, a patient can be confident their tumor is being treated while the surrounding healthy tissue and organs are spared.

“This means higher curative doses with minimal damage to critical surrounding tissues. It represents a powerful asset in our ability to tackle cancers previously beyond the reach of effective treatment with surgery or conventional radiation techniques,” Josey said.

The CyberKnife Radiosurgery System was the first, and remains the only, dedicated full-body radiosurgery device designed to help destroy tumors with intense, highly focused beams of radiation. The CyberKnife System can treat tumors anywhere in the body, from the brain to the lung to the prostate. It is the best radiation oncology solution for treating, tracking and adjusting in real-time to moving targets with extreme precision and accuracy.

One of the fantastic advantages of the CyberKnife System is able to treat patients in one to five days compared to months with conventional daily radiation treatment. This is because of the CyberKnife System’s extreme accuracy; delivering the precise, maximum dose. Not only do most CyberKnife patients avoid surgery and finish treatment in a week, their brief course of treatment is pain-free and typically lasts an hour or less per treatment. The majority of patients are able to comfortably continue their daily routines during the treatment.  We think your time is valuable, don’t you?

“We are very excited to have CyberKnife at Gibbs Cancer Center at Pelham. This allows us to deliver cutting-edge radiation treatment not previously available to patients in the Upstate,” said Dan Fried, M.D., Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute radiation oncologist. “CyberKnife is available only at Gibbs, and unlike any other treatment machine, allows us to treat very small areas with high doses of radiation with the upmost accuracy.”

“Some examples of areas that we will be treating will be brain, lung, liver, prostate, bone metastasis and even non-cancerous conditions such as acoustic neuromas and meningiomas,” Fried said. “One of the difficulties of treating cancer is avoiding hitting the normal tissues. With this machine, we are able to treat the tumor very successfully while doing a better job than other machines at sparing patients’ healthy organs.”

What is a CyberKnife treatment like?

When receiving treatment, patients simply lie down on a padded table and breathe normally while the CyberKnife System quietly moves around them.

A surgeon, who became a CyberKnife patient, shares his experience:

“The CyberKnife technology can detect slight motion of the prostate during treatment and then recalibrate and adjust. These features enable the tumor to be treated accurately, with little risk of radiation to the normal adjacent tissues,” said Scott Silver, M.D., a CyberKnife prostate patient. “Once I made the decision to go ahead with the CyberKnife, I felt a calmness and relief that I wouldn’t have to deal with the potential serious complications. Throughout the treatment I was able to relax and listen to my own music in a pleasant room.”

Once treatment is complete, a patient has follow-up appointments with their doctor as they follow the destruction of the tumor.

The CyberKnife System is a great option for patients who are unable to receive surgery, have surgically complex tumors or are seeking an alternative to surgery that will allow them to continue their active lifestyle with minimal disruption.

For more information on the CyberKnife System or for a second opinion, call 1-855-DNA-GIBBS.

 

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