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For Immediate Release
Sinai Hospital of Baltimore Treats 500th Patient with CyberKnife®
Since opening in April 2003, theCyberKnife® Center atSinai
Hospital has treated more than 500 patients
with a groundbreaking and unique stereotactic radiosurgery system. The
CyberKnife can accurately locate and target tumors, allowing doctors the ability to treat multiple tumors and lesions, which are often inoperable, without making a single incision.
"The continued growth of the CyberKnife Center reflects Sinai Hospital's dedication to providing patients with a variety of cutting-edge treatment options,” said Neal Naff, M.D., surgical director of the CyberKnife Center and chief of neurosurgery at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore.
Stephanie Flaherty, 39 years old, from York, Pa. was the Center's 500th patient. In July 2004, just starting her third trimester of pregnancy, Flaherty was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Treated aggressively with chemotherapy, Flaherty gave birth to a healthy baby girl, while continuing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She went into remission four months later.
Last month, nearly a year and a half after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Flaherty
began to get terrible pressure headaches. A small lesion in her brain was revealed after CT scans and a MRI. After reviewing her test results, doctors at the CyberKnife Center at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore told Flaherty she was a perfect candidate for a CyberKnife treatment.
"I had heard so much about the CyberKnife during my first course of radiation,” said Flaherty. "I was relieved to learn there was an opportunity to remove the lesion without surgery.”
The CyberKnife radiation therapy system uses near real-time tracking to locate the precise position of the tumor in the body. In combination with the Synchrony® Respiratory Tracking System, a high-energy X-ray source mounted on the robotic arm delivers extremely focused beams of radiation to the tumor. This highly targeted technique allows the maximum amount of radiation to be delivered
to the tumor, while protecting surrounding healthy tissue from damage.
In early November, almost a week after doctors discovered the lesion, Flaherty traveled from York, Pa., to Baltimore to receive the CyberKnife treatment. Doctors and technicians used X-rays to specifically locate the lesion. The procedure took approximately an hour and 20 minutes.
"The targeted science behind CyberKnife provides an alternative to surgery, as is the case with Mrs. Flaherty,” said Mark Brenner, M.D., chief of Radiation Oncology at Sinai Hospital and medical director of the CyberKnife Center. "Now patients with inoperable tumors in the head, neck and spine are given new hope with the advanced technology of the CyberKnife.”
Although it is early in her treatment course, doctors believe Flaherty will only have to undergo the one CyberKnife treatment.
"My doctors have told me that radiation from the CyberKnife will continue to kill the
cancer cells for up to 12 weeks after the procedure,” Flaherty said, who will undergo chemotherapy and additional radiation treatments to ensure that all of the cancerous cells are gone.
The CyberKnife is one of many advanced treatment programs at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute at Sinai. For more information on the CyberKnife program at Sinai Hospital, go to www.lifebridgehealth.org/cyberknife
or call 410-601-WELL.
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