This month Columbus CyberKnife completes three years of operations as a service of Mount Carmel St. Ann's Hospital. Since opening in 2010, the center has treated hundreds of patients throughout the region with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) using CyberKnife® technology.
Columbus CyberKnife offers the only CyberKnife program in Central Ohio and is one of only three providers in the state. Patients from across the state have traveled to Columbus CyberKnife to receive the advanced treatment. Approximately 75 percent of patients have traveled from communities beyond the hospital's service area, including neighboring states such as Indiana and West Virginia.
"The number of patients we've treated not only from our area, but also from other parts of the state and other states, is a testament to our team's expertise in providing this specialized form of treatment," said Dr. Douglas Widman, Columbus CyberKnife medical director.
The CyberKnife treats tumors with precisely focused beams of radiation delivered in five or fewer procedures. Though the name may summon images of knives or scalpels, CyberKnife treatment requires no surgery or sedation. CyberKnife has the added ability to track tumors in real time and adjust for patient movement during treatment, thus minimizing radiation exposure to healthy surrounding tissue.
Columbus CyberKnife recently celebrated a milestone as a SBRT treatment provider with the announcement of The American Society of Radiation Oncology's classification of SBRT as a primary form of treatment for prostate cancer. The endorsement is a result of long-term clinical trials supporting the safety and efficacy of SBRT. Outcomes of patients treated with SBRT were shown to be at least as good as other radiotherapy treatments. Prostate cancer patients account for about 30 percent of cases treated at Columbus CyberKnife.
While tumors in the lung, brain and prostate are most commonly treated at Columbus CyberKnife, the physician team has also seen an increased number of patients seeking treatment for trigeminal neuralgia, a debilitating nerve disorder characterized by excruciating facial pain.
"Clinical data has shown SBRT is an effective form of treatment not only for certain types of tumors throughout the body, but also other conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia," said Dr. Widman. "Patients typically experience few to no side effects following treatment due to the highly accurate nature of the CyberKnife procedure."