Monday, November 3, 2008

Sinai Hospital uses Advanced Radiosurgery to Treat Tumors and Lesions

CyberKnife® Center at Sinai Hospital

Since opening the CyberKnife® Center of the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute in 2003, Sinai Hospital has becomerecognized as a national leader in the treatment of pancreas, lung, spine, liver, brain and prostate tumors. More than 1,200 CyberKnife procedures have been performed at Sinai, where physicians from all over the country are trained in how to use the cancer treatment technology.

Sinai Hospital’s CyberKnife Center ranks in the top 10 worldwide in total volume of patients treated for pancreas, lung and other soft tissue tumors. To support the center’s continued growth and to pioneer new therapies, Sinai Hospital has acquired a second CyberKnife. Only four other centers in the world have this capacity.

CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery is a frameless, linear accelerator-based system mounted on a robotic arm. Because there are no surgical incisions, anesthesia is not required.

The CyberKnife’s computer-guided tracking system is so precise doctors use it to treat inoperable tumors and cancers that have failed to respond to other types of radiation, including radiotherapy. This is especially advantageous near the spinal cord or other vital organs. Additionally, new tracking systems for the CyberKnife allow it to recognize the shape of a patient’s spine and thus increase the degree of precision. Alan M. Levine, M.D., director of the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute, notes that “Sinai has the largest reported experience with malignant tumors of the spine. Patients from across the country with complex spinal tumors are referred here for treatment.”

Over the last five years, physicians have demonstrated CyberKnife’s ability to perform revolutionary, noninvasive procedures to eradicate soft tissue tumors in pancreas, liver and lungs. Mukund S. Didolkar, M.D., has achieved survival results with patients with inoperable pancreatic cancers not previously possible. Sinai was also one of the first centers to acquire a new program for lung tumors that tracks the patient’s breathing motion, ensuring individual lung tumors are treated. Lynne A. Skaryak, M.D., head of Sinai’s Division of Thoracic Surgery, uses the CyberKnife to treat lung cancers in patients not able to undergo surgery.

Prostate cancer also is now treatable without surgery with the CyberKnife. Research has shown patients undergoing CyberKnife treatment for certain prostate cancers have a lower rate of side effects.

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