Delivers More Powerful Punch to Tumors
If you were a boxer, would you prefer to take down your opponent with small jabs or a big right hook?
That’s the question Lou Schwartz, M.D., chair of radiation oncology at Overlook Medical Center and director of its CyberKnife Center, poses when asked about the differences between standard radiation versus CyberKnife in treating tumors of the brain, neck, spine, prostate, lung, pancreas, and liver.
“You can deliver small doses of radiation over a longer period of time, or multiple doses of very targeted radiation over a shorter time period. Our experience tells us that small jabs add up, but it’s the big one that gets the knockout,” explains Dr. Schwartz.
In 2004, Overlook was the first CyberKnife Center in the northeastern United States to treat complex tumors and malformations of the brain and spine, in addition to lung, liver, pancreas, and prostate cancers. Since then, Dr. Schwartz and his colleagues have witnessed the remarkable benefits of delivering multiple, precisely targeted doses of radiation to both malignant and benign tumors, using a combination of robotics and image-guided technology.
“Very few places in the country can match Overlook’s experience and volume. We have treated more than 1,000 brain tumor patients, as well as the second-most prostate cases in the world,” says Dr. Schwartz.
“We’ve treated more than 1,650 patients with CyberKnife at Overlook and reduced the number of radiation treatments required to eradicate prostate tumors from 44 to five,” he adds. “Patients appreciate the fact that the treatment is noninvasive, quick, painless, and has no side effects.”
Now with a dozen years of CyberKnife experience under their belts, Dr. Schwartz and his team of radiation oncologists are using the latest generation of CyberKnife technology – a brand new system that can treat larger tumors, faster and with even greater pinpoint precision. Not only does it offer more opportunity to customize treatment, it also has the potential to treat a wider array of tumors throughout the body.
“For a lung cancer patient with emphysema, for example, the new CyberKnife® M6™ Series will be even more effective at preserving healthy lung tissue while targeting malignant cells,” comments Dr. Schwartz. “Plus, the treatment time will be cut in half. Patients will be in and out within an hour.
“The gold standard of radiosurgery just got better; and we’re delighted to be able to offer patients the best available treatment technology, once again.”