Cyberknife could shrink cancer treatment time

Photo courtesy Mercy Health
Photo courtesy Mercy Health

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) —  A new state-of-the-art technology with huge benefits for cancer patients is now available in West Michigan.

Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center in Grand Rapids offers the new robotic treatment system known as “Cyberknife.”

It’s a painless out-patient procedure where a robot delivers beams of high dose radiation to tumors with extreme accuracy. Unlike traditional treatment, doctors said Cyberknife can adjust to patient’s movements to keep the tumor in its sights.

“This allows us to give a very high dose of radiation to the tumor and spare normal critical tissue even more than ever before,” said Doctor Gil Padula of Mercy Health. “So we can shrink the radiation anywhere from several weeks down to one to five treatments.”

This is the first treatment system in West Michigan, which means patients will no longer have to travel to Ann Arbor or Chicago for the advanced treatment.

Doctors work the system from an outside control room separated by a state of the art doorless vault that keeps the radiation contained inside.

Mercy Health will use Cyberknife to treat tumors in the brain, spine, stomach, and prostate to start before expanding the program.

The first patient is scheduled for June 16.

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