Health magnet: CyberKnife|
Health magnet: CyberKnife
Premium content from Business First - by Andrea Tortora, For Business First
Janet Adams | Business First
Dr. Douglas Widman, medical director at Columbus CyberKnife, treats cancer patients with a robotic laser that is highly precise, noninvasive and can be administered in large doses.
Mount Carmel Health System is not the only game in town for radiosurgery. But it is the first health system in Central Ohio to offer the CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery machine.
It’s what Columbus Cyberknife can do that other radiosurgery programs can’t that is driving business, said Dr. Douglas Widman.
Radiosurgery is radiation treatment in localized, large doses, compared to smaller, more frequent doses.
The CyberKnife machine treats harmful tumors and does not require an invasive procedure or anesthesia. In the case of treating brain tumors, CyberKnife is so precise that there is no need for an external metal frame (affixed to the skull).
“CyberKnife lets you keep track of where the tumor is during treatment,” Widman said. “And it is the only type that can keep track of a tumor during patient breathing.”
At Columbus CyberKnife, the most common treatment is for prostate cancer. Widman said it offers a program of five daily treatments, compared with the more traditional nine weeks.
CyberKnife treatments do take longer, from 30 to 60 minutes compared to the five or 10 minutes necessary for traditional radiation. All treatments are outpatient and side effects are minimal.
“Not every patient is a candidate, but for those who are, there is no comparison,” Widman said. “There is very little in the way of side effects and very little downtime.”
Mount Carmel added CyberKnife in June 2010 through a partnership with US Radiosurgery, which took on some of the financial risk and helps with marketing. At the time, it did not offer radiosurgery. Patients are coming from other states and from cities all over Ohio.
Widman said patients are doing their homework and research about radiosurgery and are responding to CyberKnife marketing campaigns.