Our wonderful patient care coordinator Marianna will be leaving our center the end of the week to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a doctor. Although sad to see her leave, we are so happy and excited for her! Marianna has an amazing heart and we know that she will be a great doctor in the future!
Marianna, thank you for everything you have done for the center and our patients! We really appreciate your dedication and hardwork! Good luck and don’t forget to come back to visit us!
From all of us at PCC =)
We will miss you Marianna!
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the CyberKnife system for the treatment of tumors in the head, neck and cervicothoracic spine in 1999. In August 2001, the CyberKnife system received clearance for treatment of tumors in any location of the body.
Although the CyberKnife system has been around for quite sometime now, not many people are familiar with this technology. A few months ago, our Medical Director, Dr. Albert Mak, was invited to appear on the Healthline Show to talk about the CyberKnife Radiosurgery System and explain how it works. Please take a look at the following YouTube video clips to learn more about the CyberKnife treatment available at our center.
Healthline – CyberKnife (Part I)
Healthline – CyberKnife (Part II)
Healthline – CyberKnife (Part III)
Healthline – CyberKnife (Part IV)
Healthline – CyberKnife (Part V)
Healthline – CyberKnife (Part VI)
We hope you find the video clips helpful and informative. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our patient, Jackie, for sharing her story on the show. If you would like more information on the CyberKnife treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact the Pasadena CyberKnife Center at 626-768-1021.
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.
Happy Friday! What better way to start the weekend than sharing with you a recent case we successfully treated at our center?
J.S.,a 61-year-old lady, who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and received palliative external radiation treatment in November 2009. A few weeks ago, she started having a sudden onset of double vision and was referred to our center for evaluation. We ordered a set of MRI and CT scans for her to find out what was causing the problem. MRI of the brain revealed a 2.5cm tumor in the skull base (the central portion of her brain) and the CT scan showed bony destruction. The result of the scans was consistent with a solitary brain metastasis.
After examination by our neurosurgeon Dr. Fineman, he confirmed that her double vision problem was due to a paralysis of the muscles that move the right eye. J.S. decided to wear an eye patch to help relieve her double vision. To lighten up her unfortunate situation, she called herself a “pirate” and even carried a fake parrot on her shoulder.
Fortunately, J.S. was determined to be a perfect candidate for the CyberKnife radiosurgery treatment and she agreed to undergo the treatment. She received 3 fractions of treatment (3 days of treatment) and each treatment took about 30 minutes. The CyberKnife treatment is painless and is done in an outpatient setting. J.S. tolerated the short course of treatment very well without any side effect.
One week after the treatment, her eye muscles have been restored. She can now control and move her right eye. What about her double vision? It is GONE, and so is the eye patch! She is so happy that she can drive again. What about her parrot? J.S. is so grateful for what we at Pasadena Cyberknife Center have done for her and since she is no longer a “pirate”, she decided to give her parrot to Dr. Mak as a gift =). By the way, we have yet given the parrot a name, do you have any suggestion?
The CyberKnife radiosurgery is an excellent treatment for brain metastases. It delivers high dose of radiation targeted to the metastatic lesions in one to five fractions. The tumor control is around 80-85%, which is much higher than conventional radiation or IMRT (Intensity modulated radiation therapy). Because of that, patients live longer and do not suffer from treatment related complications.
There is no better feeling than knowing you have made a positive impact on another person’s life. We are so happy to be able to treat J.S. and to be a part of her healthcare team.
Dear J.S.: We wish you the very best in every aspect of your recovery and don’t worry, we will take good care of your parrot =)
Did you know that the CyberKnife Radiosurgery is another treatment option for Trigeminal Neuralgia besides the Gamma Knife? We recently treated a patient diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia who suffered from right-sided facial pain for over a year. She lost 65 lbs because she was not able to chew or eat due to the pain. Two weeks after her CyberKnife treatment, she reported 90% reduction in facial pain. It has now been almost 4 months since her treatment, she is now pain-free and more importantly, can enjoy eating her favorite meal again.
Below is her testimonial:
“I am very satisfied with the CyberKnife radiosurgery. I had not been able to eat and sometimes not even been able to talk over the past 16 months of having TN. I lost 65 lbs, not because I wanted to, but because I couldn’t eat. I can eat now after a couple of weeks post-treatment and have put on 5 lbs. I could hardly walk very far before and now I can walk just fine. I couldn’t wear my bottom dentures before and now I can. All is going just fine.” ~ B
Trigeminal Neuralgia is a chronic condition that causes a stabbing or electric-shock-like pain in parts of the face. It usually affects older adults but may affect anyone at any age. Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia include:
- Very painful, sharp electric-like spasms that usually last a few seconds or minutes, but can become constant
- Pain is usually only on one side of the face, often around the eye, cheek, and lower part of the face
- Pain may be triggered by touch or sounds
- Painful attacks can be triggered by common, everyday activities, such as brushing teeth, chewing, drinking, eating, lightly touching the face and shaving
It is often easy to mistake the pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia for a toothache or a headache. If you suffer from facial pain, please consult your physician.