Tuesday, July 14, 2009

England gets the CyberKnife

England has finally gotten is first CyberKnife.

It was reported yesterday in the UK Mirror:

CyberKnife gives cancer cure hope

A hi-tech device has given ex-BT worker Robert Ferrant hope of beating his inoperable pancreatic cancer.

Dad Robert, 62, was given just months to live after being diagnosed with the same condition that has struck movie star Patrick Swayze.

But now he has become one the first people in the UK to go under the CyberKnife-- a machine for high-powered, laser-guided radiotherapy.

Reportedly also used by Swayze, the device blasts radiation at tumours too near major blood vessels for other treatment. Robert had three two-hour sessions last week.

He said: "Other treatment would extend my life by three months. With CyberKnife, I've hope of a cure."

Robert, from Jersey, was treated in London's Harley Street. The device and its leadlined bunker costs £6 million.


Well, now that they have the CyberKnife, I hope they take full advantage of it.

Here in Los Angeles, we have a CyberKnife at the USC medical center, but according to the USC medical administration, it's not used all that often. A patient’s oncologist has to prescribe it, and most do not. Get this: out of the three radiation oncologists I had here in the States, two of them were not familiar with the CyberKnife at all, and the third was completely misinformed about it!

I realize that the use of the CyberKnife depends on the shape of the tumor and where it’s located, but I also know that the CyberKnife kills the cancerous tumor with no side effects.

That’s right. Unlike traditional radiation, the single blast of the CyberKnife does its work with no residual problems.

The evening after I was cyberknifed in Munich, I went out and had Chinese food.

I could taste the food-- and I had all of my saliva glands.

After a single week of traditional radiation, it took me two hours to drink a cup of chicken broth.

Now I have one saliva gland and I can’t taste anything at all.