A great article on how a prostate cancer patient won battle against his insurance company for coverage on the CyberKnife treatment. As indicated in the article, the FDA approved the CyberKnife treatment more than a decade ago. Instead of undergoing 40 fractions of external radiation therapy or major surgery, CyberKnife only takes 4 treatment which offers a much more convenient and minimally invasive alternative for patients. Unfortunately, we still occasionally get denials from the insurance companies. Hopefully, they will soon recognize the benefits that CyberKnife offers and will make it available for all their patients.More
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Every year, about 240,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Fortunately, prostate cancer is slow-growing in most cases. Nevertheless, without treatment, a number of patients will develop progressive disease and eventual distant tumor spread. PSA screening has been an effective means to detect early prostate cancer; early detection of disease will likely yield higher cure rate. The American Cancer Society advocates annual PSA screening and digital rectal examination for men over 50 years of age.
There are many treatment options for early-staged prostate cancer such as surgical resection, external beam IMRT radiation, and radioactive seed implant. More recently, the CyberKnife treatment has been used to treat localized prostate cancer. The CyberKnife treatment only consists of 4 to 5 days of radiation treatment vs. 40 days of IMRT radiation treatment. The treatment is performed on an outpatient basis and each treatment takes approximately an hour to complete. There is no pain or sensation associated with the CyberKnife, and no foley catheter is required for the radiation.
CyberKnife allows the physician to deliver a very concentrated dose of radiation at the prostate gland, yet sparing surrounding normal tissue, such as the rectum and bladder. The CyberKnife robot can also track the prostate movement during the treatment to ensure the utmost accuracy on targeting the gland.
A recent study published the 5-year result using CyberKnife radiosurgery for prostate cancer. 93% of the patients had their tumor controlled based on follow-up PSA result. The side effects were minimal and limited to minor rectal complaints or mild urinary complaints which usually resolve with time.
In addition to minimal side effects, patients who undergo the CyberKnife treatment tend to have a better chance of potency preservation than those who have surgery and external radiation. With sub-millimeter accuracy, the CyberKnife allows the physician to treat a very specific targeted area. This capability helps avoid nerve damage during the treatment, ultimately helping retain patients’ erectile function.
In summary, the CyberKnife treatment offers an alternative treatment option for prostate cancer patients. While providing equivalent tumor control rates compared to surgery, the CyberKnife is definitely less invasive. More importantly, patients can continue their normal daily routine while undergoing treatment as there is no recovery period.
Prostate Treatment at the Pasadena CyberKnife Center
Since our inception a year ago, the Pasadena CyberKnife Center had treated more than a dozen patients with prostate cancer. Our patients are followed closely for treatment results and any side effects. We are happy to report that they are all doing very well and their PSA’s have all come down since the CyberKnife treatment.
We are currently accepting patients with low and intermediate risk prostate cancer on a CyberKnife treatment protocol, and will compare the results with other CyberKnife clinics. If you want to find out more about the CyberKnife radiosurgery technology, please call us at 626-768-1021 or visit our website at www.pasadenacyberknife.com.More