Winthrop First to Perform Spinal Radiosurgery with CyberKnife
Patient with constant, severe pain gains significant relief


Vol. 16, No. 1
Winter 2006

  • Winthrop's Bariatric Surgery Program Leaves Lives Forever Changed

  • Bariatric Surgery Procedure

  • Angioplasty Proceduresat Winthrop Ranked at the Top by NY State's Health Department

  • Singapore Doctors and Hospital Leaders Tour Winthrop's Cardiac Care Facilities

  • Pulmonary Rehab Programis Step in Right Direction for Lung Disease Patient

  • First Annual Pulmonary Hypertension Walk Raises Thousands for Research

  • Winthrop's Diabetes Education Center Celebrates Grand Opening of New,Larger Facility

  • Winthrop's Diabetes Education Program Once Again Merits ADA Recognition

  • Annual Check-Up Catches Early-Stage Tumor, Minimally Invasive Procedure Spares Kidney

  • Winthrop First to Perform Spinal Radiosurgery with CyberKnife

  • ASU Tours Help Young Patients Prepare for Surgery

  • An Elegant Evening of Celebration & Charity

  • The Guardian Society Thinking Ahead for Your Future and Winthrop's

  • Syde Hurdus Foundation Supports Endoscopy Center and Research

  • Treiber Family Gives in Memory of Their Son

  • First Annual "Evening of Tasting & Giving" Raises Thousands

  • Cardiac Surgeon and Family Donate in Support of Heart Surgery Center Construction

  • Auxilians Once Again Join Hands to Help Pediatrics

  • "Extend the Holidays" Toy Drive Keeps Smiles Going

  • The Pat Lyons Foundation

  • "Family Sunday" Created for Cancer Center for Kids' Patients

  • Jay's World Foundation Furthers Support of Winthrop's Pediatric Facilities

  • Williston Park Rotary Lends Support for Cancer Survivors' Program

  • Winthrop Welcomes 2006 Golf Tournament Co-Chairs

  • Garden City Resident Celebrates Birthday by Helping Young Patients

    Back to Publications

  • Fighting lung cancer that had spread to her spine, a 65-year-old woman was wracked by brutal and relentless pain. She had undergone as much radiation and chemotherapy as possible, but nothing relieved her agony.

    Nothing, until she was treated with CyberKnife spinal radiosurgery at Winthrop-University Hospital -the first and only hospital in the New York Metropolitan area to perform this revolutionary procedure. Precise, painless, non-invasive and bloodless CyberKnife radiosurgery takes the treatment of benign and malignant masses to a new level.

    A hybrid between surgery and radiation oncology, radiosurgery delivers accurately targeted radiation beams to tumors, obliterating or reducing them without the need to use a surgeon's scalpel.

    Gold Standard of Care

    "CyberKnife is currently the goldstandard instrument for performing spinal radiosurgery," said Michael Brisman, MD, Winthrop's Chief of Neurosurgery. "While radiosurgery was once restricted to brain treatments because the head was easy to immobilize, CyberKnife now allows us to use radiosurgery on the spine because natural body movement doesn't compromise the accuracy of CyberKnife treatment. An ongoing skeletal image tracking system and flexible robotic arm, which carries the radiation source and locks in on the targeted tumor, compensates for the patient's every movement -including breathing. These technologically advanced features enable the staff to also treat cancerous tumors of the lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and prostate."

    CyberKnife radiosurgery can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other therapies. And, because it is so accurate, it can safely treat tumors within the spinal cord itself. Additionally, CyberKnife can treat tumors that are benign or malignant, primary or metastatic -those that spread from a primary site to other parts of the body. It also provides excellent local tumor control, often obviating the need for surgical intervention.

    "Metastatic tumors are the most common masses of the spine and spinal cord," explained Jeffrey Brown, MD, Neurosurgical Director of CyberKnife at Winthrop. "While it doesn't always eliminate the tumors, CyberKnife can shrink them, reducing the painful pressure on surrounding nerves and tissue. Studies have shown that CyberKnife spinal radiosurgery can eliminate the pain of spinal metastases within days of treatment."

    No More Pain

    That's exactly what happened to the patient with metastatic lung cancer that spread to her spine. "Her pain went from a nine on the pain scale to a zero in just several treatments," said Jonathan Haas, MD, Associate Director of Radiation Oncology. "The symptoms related to the tumors decreased significantly. She's not cured, but she's pain-free and her quality of life is 100 percent better."

    For patients with benign tumors of the spine or spinal cord, Cyberknife treatment can be curative. Spinal radiosurgery may be particularly useful for patients with neurofibromatosis, a condition that produces many benign tumors of the nervous system -- particularly of the spinal cord. "In the past, these patients would undergo multiple spinal surgeries to remove their tumors one by one as they became symptomatic. Now, with Cyberknife, these tumors can be effectively treated before they become a problem," said Alan Katz, MD, Chief of Radiation Oncology at Winthrop.

    Winthrop's spinal radiosurgery team -- comprising experts in oncology, radiation oncology and neurosurgery -- offers the full range of advanced options for patients with tumors of the spine and spinal cord. These physicians are currently the only ones in the New York metropolitan region combining other state-ofthe-art treatments with Cyberknife spinal radiosurgery.

    For more information, please call 1-866-Winthrop.



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