Technology targeting tumors like never before - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Technology targeting tumors like never before

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The machine used to treat tumors. The machine used to treat tumors.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new weapon in the battle against cancer is making treatments easier for patients in Kentuckiana. The new CyberKnife technology is a radiation treatment that targets a tumor like never before.

The $6 million investment is a venture of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and US Radiosurgery, giving hope to patients with inoperable or hard to reach tumors.

Medical Director, Dr. Shiao Woo calls it an advancement in current treatments with is ability to angle, adjust and move to keep continuous track of the tumor it's trying to kill.

"You find the most advantageous point to deliver radiation to a tumor while you avoid important structures," Dr. Woo said.

It's great for patients that don't like to be confined or have a hard time being still for long periods of time. Because of it's ability to stay on target even if the patient moves, or as the patient breaths, data shows a significant reduction in the number of radiation treatments needed.

Prostate cancer for example "35, 40, 42 sessions," said Dr. Woo when using conventional radiation treatments, "We are talking over an 8 week period. And Cyberknife can do it in 5 sessions."

It's also reducing the cost of Medicare by a third.

And because the treatment is so tumor target specific, healthy tissue remains healthy. For a lung cancer patient "it may prevent them from needing oxygen all the time," Dr. Woo explained.

"We make the process easier for the patient and hopefully in some cases, not all perhaps, we may even reduce a little bit of the side effects of treatment which means patients quality of life would be better," Dr. Woo said.

CyberKnife starts treating patients at James Graham Brown Cancer Center on October 24.

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