Feature | April 10, 2014

Robotic device restores voice of patient in a first for the robotic radiosurger system


April 10, 2014 — Stephen Wiley of Terrell, Texas, is the first known patient to be treated for vocal cord cancer with the CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system from Accuray, announced officials from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

The 59-year-old Wiley’s vocal cords were deteriorating until one day his voice reduced to a whisper. Doctors found tumors in both his vocal cords, and referred him to UT Southwestern, where he met with Larry Myers, M.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery.

Six doctors had to unanimously agree that Wiley was a good candidate for the procedure, which he said gave him confidence that the CyberKnife trial was right for him. The $7 million CyberKnife has a small linear particle accelerator and a robotic arm that allows it to treat tumors on any part of the body with radiation. There were no previous records from Accuray or in medical literature of the robotic device previously being used to treat vocal cord cancer.

Wiley’s successful treatments yielded important information that UT Southwestern physicians are already using to make treatment shorter for other people with vocal cord tumors, said Wiley’s surgeon Baran Sumer, M.D., associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in north Texas.

“We’re in a very unique situation at UT Southwestern where we have the tools to do it. It takes a lot of collaboration between the surgeons and the radiation doctors to actually get that done. The technology just hasn’t been there until recently,” said Susie Chen, M.D., assistant professor of radiation oncology, who oversaw Wiley’s treatments.

Patients must be as still as possible for the CyberKnife treatment to be precise, but vocal cords move when people breathe and swallow, presenting a unique challenge in using the precision robot. Sumer injected tiny bits of gold into the patient’s neck for the CyberKnife to track so the robotic arm could adjust to even the slightest movements. The patient’s head also was covered with a mesh mask that held him still.

“With the CyberKnife, it’s real time. When something moves, it’s actually moving. We adjust to the movement,” Chen said. “The whole time you’re getting treated, there are little X-rays that are being done that allow the machine to lock on to these little gold markers that are placed near the vocal cords. You lock on to a target.”

Three other UT Southwestern patients have since had CyberKnife treatments on vocal cord tumors, and Chen said they have been able to reduce the number of treatments each time as more is learned about the CyberKnife’s effectiveness on vocal cord tumors.

“What we’ve done is taken a treatment that takes five and a half weeks, and we’re decreasing it,” Chen said. “The true goal of this study is to maintain excellent cure rates while decreasing the time of radiation and side effects. That’s the biggest thing – ease for the patient.”

For more information: www.utsouthwestern.edu, www.cyberknife.com

Related Content

News | Radiation Therapy

June 17, 2022 — Accuray Incorporated and Limbus AI Inc. announced they are partnering to augment Accuray adaptive ...

Time June 17, 2022
arrow
Feature

Imaging Technology News (ITN) maintains more than 40 comparison charts of product specifications from various vendors ...

Time June 09, 2022
arrow
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

June 7, 2022 — Two-year results from the Dysphagia-Aspiration Related Structures (DARS) trial, which is funded by Cancer ...

Time June 07, 2022
arrow
News | Radiation Therapy

June 3, 2022 — Henry Ford Health is the first in the world to complete a full course of patient treatments using the ...

Time June 03, 2022
arrow
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

May 19, 2022 — Brainlab announced that clinicians at UZ Brussel are the first to treat patients with the company’s new ...

Time May 19, 2022
arrow
News | Radiation Oncology

May 19, 2022 — Robert L. Bard, M.D., an ITN editorial advisory board member, received one of the highest achievements of ...

Time May 19, 2022
arrow
News | Radiation Therapy

May 18, 2022 — RaySearch announced that the treatment control system RayCommand is in clinical use at the innovative ...

Time May 18, 2022
arrow
Videos | Proton Therapy

John C. Breneman, M.D., medical director of the Cincinnati Children's/UC Health Proton Therapy Center, and the principal ...

Time May 16, 2022
arrow
News | Treatment Planning

May 11, 2022 — Elekta has evolved radiosurgery to an unprecedented level with the launch of Elekta Esprit. This latest ...

Time May 11, 2022
arrow
News | Treatment Planning

May 10, 2022 — GE Healthcare is proud to announce that it has entered into an agreement to collaborate with RaySearch ...

Time May 10, 2022
arrow
Subscribe Now