Columbus CyberKnife has treated more than 70 lung cancer cases this year with increased volume last quarter. The center has drawn patients from around the region seeking a noninvasive alternative to traditional lung cancer treatment.
On the heels of Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, the center aimed to raise awareness of CyberKnife® treatment for the nation’s second-most common disease. Columbus CyberKnife, a service of Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital, treats tumors with a procedure called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). The procedure delivers precisely targeted, high-dose radiation beams to the tumor site from a variety of angles without any incisions or sedation.
“While surgery is the most common treatment for lung cancer, we take steps to ensure the patient understands all treatment options available and help them to determine which one that may be through our collaborative approach,” Dr. Douglas Widman, medical director of Columbus CyberKnife said. “We work with a variety of cancer specialists to offer our patient the guidance to choose the treatment that best suits their needs and lifestyle.”
SBRT can be particularly advantageous for patients unable or unwilling to undergo surgery, whether from poor general health or a concern for potential side effects that could impact quality of life. Compared to the 40 treatments typically required with conventional radiation therapy, CyberKnife treatment is completed within five or fewer sessions.
CyberKnife’s unique ability to track tumors during treatment allows the machine to make adjustments for normal patient movements like breathing, minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissue. Patients typically return to their normal routines immediately following treatment.
“Evolving treatment options for lung cancer have not only improved survival rates, but also quality of life for patients,” Dr. Widman said. “Patients who undergo have the benefit of returning to their normal routines following treatment and experience few to no side effects.”
Dr. Widman explained that the growing library of clinical data has verified that CyberKnife can offer effective treatment of lung tumors while carrying a low risk of side effects.