December 28, 2010 — While many clinicians around the world have adopted radiosurgery for the treatment of cancer, advances in technology along with newly-established treatment protocols introduced at the 5th International Conference of the Novalis Circle have fueled increased interest in broadening the application of radiosurgery.
“Radiosurgery is certainly not new to the medical community, but equipment enhancements and increased collaboration among clinicians is driving us to utilize it in new and exciting ways,” said Deborah Benzil, M.D., chairperson of the 2010 Novalis Circle Conference and neurosurgeon with the Mount Kisco Medical Group in Mount Kisco, N.Y.
Of particular interest to attendees at the event, sponsored by Brainlab, were new stereotactic body radiation therapy treatment (SBRT) protocols for the lung and liver. One such protocol, introduced by Bin Teh, M.D., vice chair of the department of radiation oncology at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, is providing encouraging results in using fractionated body radiation therapy (F-SBRT) to control primary, recurrent and metastatic lung cancer. Producing control rates greater than 90 percent, Teh explained that the lung protocol can help clinicians effectively treat patients that may be too compromised for invasive surgery.
“For the first time in 50 years, we have a new treatment option, F-SBRT, that can positively impact patients living with primary or metastatic lung cancers,” Teh said. “When shared among peers, successful radiotherapy protocols help physicians confidently meet the challenge of safely and effectively treating patients in a noninvasive manner.”
A liver treatment protocol utilizing SBRT, developed and introduced by Percy Lee, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the University of California Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, is providing hope to patients awaiting liver transplantation.
Lee, who initiated the use of SBRT for liver treatment at UCLA two years ago, said the introduction of precise radiation treatments through Novalis radiosurgery is opening a world of new possibilities to clinicians and their patients.
“In the past, physicians hesitated giving patients awaiting liver transplantation radiation treatment, because a broad application was considered far too toxic,” Lee said. “Using Novalis radiosurgery, we can deliver very high doses of radiation to precise locations in the liver, minimizing liver toxicity and controlling tumor growth. By minimizing toxicity, patients are able to maintain their health and are more likely to be considered candidates for liver transplantation.”
Lee’s treatment protocol, which also incorporates chemotherapy, has been shown to not only control tumors in the liver, but to also reduce complications once the liver transplantation has occurred.
Disclaimer: The results discussed herein are a result of independent studies. Brainlab did not participate in these studies and had no impact on or control over the results.
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