News & Events

Comparing Cancer Treatments: CyberKnife vs. Proton Therapy

Patients seeking an advanced treatment option for a cancer diagnosis may compare CyberKnife® and proton therapy. While both are known for their precision and minimal side effects, each targets tumors differently.

CyberKnife is an advanced technology that performs stereotactic body radiation therapy. During treatment, high doses of radiation are delivered to tumors with sub-millimeter precision, minimizing radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissue. Proton therapy has the ability to minimize damage to healthy tissue through the use of particle therapy. During proton therapy, doctors determine the precise point in a patient’s body where the proton releases the majority of energy, maximizing exposure to the treatment area.

The table below demonstrates additional ways the treatment types differ:

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This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Clinical Study: Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Metastases

CCK_9-8Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) can be an effective treatment for brain metastases, which are tumors that develop in the brain from cancer cells that have spread from another area in the body.

Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle released data that indicated a potential for improved survival rates for patients with brain metastases who receive stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). The study, which compared SRS to whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) in 413 patients who were diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer and with fewer than four brain metastases found that those treated with SRS had an overall survival of nine months compared to 3.9 months for patients treated with WBRT. These findings suggest that improved survival rates could be among the benefits that SRS offers to patients diagnosed with the disease.

Contact us to learn more about stereotactic radiosurgery for primary and metastatic brain tumors. We treat brain tumors using CyberKnife® technology, which delivers pinpoint high-dose radiation to tumors in five or fewer outpatient treatments.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

CCK_9-1More than 8,600 men in Ohio will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society. September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and support for the fight against the disease.

Thanks to advancements in research and treatment methods, men diagnosed with prostate cancer have several options and resources available to them to learn more about the disease and the best way to treat it for their individual diagnosis. The Prostate Cancer Foundation and ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer are two organizations providing support and education for fighting the disease.

We encourage men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and their loved ones to learn about treatment options available. You can learn more about treatment methods for prostate cancer here.

Our clinical team has treated more than 1,000 patients, many of whom had prostate cancer. Contact Columbus CyberKnife if interested in learning about CyberKnife® stereotactic body radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Benefits of Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Metastatic Brain Tumors

CCK copyData released by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle showed a potential for improved survival rates for patients with brain metastases who receive stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

The study compared SRS to whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) in 413 patients who were diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer and had fewer than four brain metastases. Researchers found that those treated with SRS had an overall survival of nine months compared to 3.9 months for patients treated with WBRT. These findings suggest that improved survival rates could be among the benefits that SRS offers to patients diagnosed with the disease.

At Columbus CyberKnife, we treat brain tumors using CyberKnife SRS, which delivers pinpoint high-dose radiation to tumors in five or fewer outpatient treatments. To learn more about stereotactic radiosurgery for primary and metastatic brain tumors, please contact us.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Wellpoint Anthem Updates Policy to Include Coverage of SBRT for Prostate Cancer

Wellpoint Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the second largest commercial payer in the United States, recently announced that it has updated its SRS/SBRT policy to cover treatment for early stage prostate cancer.

Stereotactic body radiation therapy, or SBRT, is a powerful, noninvasive treatment approach that targets radiation beams to match the size and shape of a patient’s tumor, minimizing damage to surrounding tissue. At Columbus CyberKnife, prostate cancer patients are treated with this outpatient method using CyberKnife® technology.

The organization attributes its policy change to the matured body of evidence released by numerous research studies and experts in the field that demonstrate acceptance and support of SBRT as a viable treatment option for prostate cancer.

The American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO) 2013 Model Policy is among the sources that provided supportive context and rationale for Anthem’s policy update. ASTRO’s expert opinion cited in Anthem’s policy states that the organization believes, “Data supporting the use of SBRT for prostate cancer have matured to a point where SBRT could be considered an appropriate alternative for select patients with low to intermediate risk disease.”

Another notable excerpt from the policy update confirms the length of treatment time associated with SBRT is among the benefits to patients, stating that, “The hypofractionation associated with SBRT shortens the treatment time to five visits, compared to the seven to nine weeks required for IMRT. This shortened treatment time is an aspect appreciated by individuals.”

For more information on Anthem’s SRS/SBRT policy change and medically necessary criteria for SBRT treatment of prostate cancer, click here. For more information on the benefits of CyberKnife treatment, click here.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Research Update: Palliative Care for Metastatic Spinal Tumors

In a recent study titled, “Palliative Strategies for the Management of Primary and Metastatic Spinal Tumors,” researchers examined the methods of treatment for spinal tumor patients who experienced discomfort.

The study notes that stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) assisted patients with long-term pain reduction and increased local control of the disease either as the primary form of treatment, or in combination with other treatment methods.

You can read the full study here.

Columbus CyberKnife treats spinal tumors with SBRT using CyberKnife® technology. This non-invasive procedure is a treatment option that does not require sedation or surgery. Patients are treated within five treatment sessions and typically return to their normal routines immediately following each session.

Learn more about the advantages of CyberKnife treatment for spinal tumors here.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Patient Education: Prostate Cancer Screenings

Prostate cancer screening plays an important role in cancer detection because it allows the disease to be detected at an early stage, before symptoms appear, making the chances for a successful treatment outcome greater. However, there are some limits in screening for prostate cancer. It is important to note that because the two tests most commonly used in screening are not 100 percent accurate, early testing for prostate cancer can be difficult.

To learn more about prostate cancer screening, view our presentation below.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment: CyberKnife vs. Gamma Knife

Trigeminal neuralgia is a painfully debilitating neuropathic disorder. Commonly referred to as TN, the condition is a disorder of the trigeminal, or fifth cranial, nerve that controls sensation in the face. TN patients experience episodes of intense, electroshock-like pain on either side of the face, in the forehead or along the jaw. TN is usually diagnosed based on a patient’s description of symptoms.

Pain can be triggered by something as simple as a light breeze to things like chewing, talking or swallowing. Episodes of pain can arise suddenly. Because it can be emotionally incapacitating for patients and significantly impact their quality of life, TN is commonly known as the “suicide disease.”

Our center treats TN with a procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery, a noninvasive method of treating certain types of tumors and conditions like TN with high-dose radiation beams precisely targeted to a segment of the trigeminal nerve using CyberKnife® technology.

Read below for a treatment comparison of CyberKnife and Gamma Knife®, another technology used to treat TN.

  • Comfort – Gamma Knife uses a metal frame to stabilize the patient’s head during treatment, while TN treatment with CyberKnife is completely noninvasive and doesn’t require a fixed metal head frame. With CyberKnife, patients undergoing treatment simply lie on a treatment table wearing a mesh facemask as the machine rotates around them and automatically adjusts and corrects for any movement.
  • Sedation – Because Gamma Knife uses a metal head frame to secure a patient’s head, local anesthesia is required to eliminate any pain and discomfort during the process. However, treatment with CyberKnife is painless and does not require any anesthesia, allowing patients to resume their normal routines following treatment.

Contact us for more information about how we treat TN patients.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

CyberKnife Testimonial: Prostate Cancer Patient

At Columbus CyberKnife, we believe one of the best ways to learn about CyberKnife® treatment is hearing from patients who have been through the treatment process. Prostate cancer patient, Vergil F., was treated at another center with CyberKnife technology.

Unlike conventional surgery for prostate cancer, which can last over three hours, requires general anesthesia and a 3-day hospital stay, CyberKnife can treat prostate cancer patients in five or fewer treatment sessions, without incision or sedation, allowing patients to return to their normal activities following treatment.

View the video below to learn more about Vergil’s experience.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Patient Support: Influential Prostate Cancer Bloggers

Often, the best insights for patients and families seeking support for a prostate cancer diagnosis come from survivors and others who have experienced the disease firsthand. Online blogs have become a valuable resource for patients who wish to connect to others in the cancer community for advice and emotional support.

We have identified a few influential bloggers who have used their blog as a platform to provide inspiration for prostate cancer patients and their families.

  • Gabe Canales – Only 35 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Gabe Canales was in the midst of his diagnosis when he founded the non-profit group Blue Cure Foundation, whose mission is to save lives by providing prostate cancer education for all men, young and old. Now a survivor and a passionate cancer-prevention advocate, he is a blogger at the Huffington Post where he covers the latest in prostate cancer treatment and prevention.
  • Prostate Diaries – As a prostate cancer survivor and private practice urologist, Dr. John McHugh offers medical insight into the disease, details treatment options and shares personal experiences all with a good dose of humor along the way through his blog.
  • Prostate Cancer - Our Journey – When Daniel Sencier was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2010, he created his blog as a means of keeping his family and friends informed of his process. Four years on, the blog has turned into an engaging diary of Daniel’s life beyond cancer.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.