Louisville CyberKnife Highlights Benefits of Brown Cancer Center Partnership, Prostate Cancer Treatment Advancements

Louisville CyberKnife will soon mark a milestone with the treatment of more than 100 patients in its first year of operation. The center opened last year through a partnership with the James Graham Brown Cancer Center to offer noninvasive stereotactic body radiation therapy using CyberKnife® technology.

As a partner of the Brown Cancer Center, Louisville CyberKnife is part of the KentuckyOne Health network, which allows the center’s physicians to employ a multidisciplinary approach to patient care by collaborating with doctors across specialties, including radiation oncologists, surgeons and medical physicists to determine the best method of treatment for cancer patients.

“This type of collaboration gives patients access to multiple cancer specialists with a broad range of expertise,” said Louisville CyberKnife medical director Dr. Shiao Woo. “We strive to offer the best options for each specific patient and allow for open communication between doctors and patients.”

In addition to its collaborative efforts for patient treatment, the center has worked to contribute to the growing body of research examining SBRT treatment for tumors throughout the body. Louisville CyberKnife radiation oncologist Dr. Neal Dunlap is currently overseeing a clinical trial examining SBRT treatment for lung cancer in patients who have previously received prior chest radiation. Additionally, the American Society of Radiation Oncology recently endorsed SBRT as a first-line treatment option for prostate cancer, which ranks as one of the center’s most frequently treated diseases.

ASTRO’s endorsement stems from various research confirming the efficacy of SBRT for treating prostate cancer. A recent 5-year study of low-risk and intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients treated with CyberKnife SBRT showed the procedure successfully treated the disease. At the five-year mark, 97 percent of low-risk patients and 90.7 percent of intermediate-risk patients remained cancer free. Sexual function was preserved in 75 percent of patients. For more information about this study, click here.

“Results of clinical trials such as these show CyberKnife SBRT is a viable method of treatment for prostate cancer,” Dr. Woo said. “As research grows, we hope to increase awareness of this treatment option and further our knowledge of its applications for other cancers throughout the body.”

Though the name conjures images of knives and scalpels, CyberKnife treatment requires no incisions or sedation and no overnight hospital stay. During the procedure, very precise, high doses of radiation are delivered to tumors with sub-millimeter accuracy.

Treatment is completed in five or fewer sessions, and patients typically experience few to no side effects following treatment. Dr. Woo said many patients are drawn to the CyberKnife procedure’s minimal interruption to day-to-day life.