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CyberKnife System Cuts Prostate Cancer Treatment Times

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARAY), a global leader in the field of radiosurgery, announced today that CyberKnife Centers of San Diego has shortened prostate cancer treatment times, while further improving the quality of treatment plans, by upgrading one of its CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery Systems with the next-generation technology. CyberKnife treatment delivery for prostate cancer, which used to take nearly two hours, now can be completed in an hour or less, and requires only five or fewer outpatient visits.

The next generation CyberKnife technology includes a sequential optimization planning tool for the efficient development of highly-complex treatment plans, a higher output linear accelerator to more rapidly deliver dose to the target, and the Iris Variable Aperture Collimator, which enables delivery of very conformal, multi-collimator treatments. The upgraded System also utilizes optimized path transversal technology to support more efficient movement of the robotic linear accelerator, speeding treatment time even more.

"The improvements to the CyberKnife System have exceeded my highest expectations," said Donald B. Fuller, M.D., a radiation oncologist with the CyberKnife Centers of San Diego and Radiation Medical Group. "The combination of these sophisticated tools enables us to develop amazingly conformal plans, and deliver them far more rapidly than before. Together these enhancements create the most advanced CyberKnife platform in existence - 'the next knife' if you will."

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"The flexibility of the CyberKnife System has enabled us to provide a non- invasive prostate cancer therapy that closely resembles the radiation dose pattern delivered by high dose rate - or HDR - brachytherapy without the pain and discomfort," said Dr. Fuller.

Historically, HDR brachytherapy has shown considerable success in controlling many prostate cancers, optimally matching the highest radiation dose with the greatest cancer cell burden, yet the procedure requires multiple catheters to be inserted into the prostate, and remain there for one to three days. Accordingly, HDR brachytherapy has left both clinicians and patients looking for less invasive, more cost-effective alternatives.

Currently, Dr. Fuller is leading a study to further investigate both outcomes and quality of life effects of CyberKnife radiosurgery in treating low and intermediate risk prostate cancer using HDR-like - dose distributions. Earlier this year he published a study in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics - also known as the Red Journal - demonstrating the CyberKnife System's ability to non-invasively deliver complex HDR-like radiation dose sculpting to the prostate. Initial results of the study demonstrated a rapid reduction in prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels as well as minimal short-term side effects.

"In addition to addressing clinicians' needs, we're always taking into consideration the patients' experience when we develop enhancements to the CyberKnife System," said Eric P. Lindquist, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Accuray. "By enabling shorter treatment times with a non- invasive delivery, we are helping prostate cancer patients avoid painful and lengthy procedures that can significantly impact their quality of life."