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Radiosurgery Plays Critical Role in Battle Against Cancer

Posted on: 09/18/2003

Press Release Source: BrainLAB

Radiosurgery Plays Critical Role in Battle Against Cancer

Thursday September 18, 9:47 am ET
Precision Radiotherapy Center is the 16th site in the nation offering innovative new cancer treatment

WEST CHESTER, Ohio, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Richard Metcalfe, an ex- Marine, former police officer and semi-retired marketing employee, underwent non-invasive brain surgery last Friday. Two days later he went to church and cheered on the Bengals from an easy chair in his Harrison, Ohio, home.

"I feel like a million dollars," Mr. Metcalfe said. "My doctors are remarkable people."

Mr. Metcalfe is one of the first patients to benefit from the new NovalisĀ® Shaped Beam Surgery(TM) technology at the Precision Radiotherapy Center at University Pointe located just outside of Cincinnati. The Mayfield Clinic and University Radiology Associates last week unveiled the center, the region's first facility to offer stereotactic radiosurgery for treatment of tumors both inside and outside the head. Candidates for treatment include patients with benign and malignant tumors of the brain, head, neck, spine, lung, liver and prostate. The Precision Radiotherapy Center at University Pointe is the 16th facility in the nation to be treating patients with BrainLAB Novalis.

Mr. Metcalfe, who was suffering from a metastatic brain tumor, was treated September 5 on an outpatient basis with a single, high dose of radiation. He has been battling cancer since December 1999, when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. A routine MRI revealed the tumor's presence when it was the size of a pea.

"I'm walking better; I'm feeling better," Mr. Metcalfe said last weekend. "I'm relieved that the cancer is dead and gone."

Dr. Ronald Warnick, a neurosurgeon with the Mayfield Clinic & Spine Institute, and Dr. John Breneman, professor of radiation oncology and neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati, treated Mr. Metcalfe at the Precision Radiotherapy Center

Despite its name, stereotactic radiosurgery is painless and does not involve an incision. It does involve meticulous preparation. Prior to radiosurgery of an abnormality inside the brain, a stereotactic frame is fitted to the patient's head with four pins. A second apparatus, resembling a birdcage, is then placed on top of the frame. Scans of the patient's brain are taken to help the surgeon pinpoint the exact location of the abnormality.

After the scan, the cage is removed, and information about the tumor location and proximity to critical structures is transferred to the Novalis computer system. The frame remains in place and is anchored to the table, so that the patient's head is completely immobilized during treatment. The radiation is then delivered in a continuum of arcs, so that the tumor itself is the only tissue to receive the full, concentrated dose of radiation. Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.

Mr. Metcalfe admitted that he was "petrified" before the procedure. "But they set the ring on and it didn't hurt," he said. "They had it on in 10 minutes."

The delivery of radiation was also painless. "I knew when that grunting noise started that it was the medicine [radiation] they were using to kill the cancer," Mr. Metcalfe said.

On Sunday, only a few telltale signs of the treatment remained: two small, angled marks above the eyebrows where the pins had been. At church, Mr. Metcalfe's wife, Janie, told friends jokingly that he'd "had his horns removed."

Mr. Metcalfe's primary risk factor for lung cancer was a long history of cigarette smoking. He has since given up the habit.

About The Mayfield Clinic
The Mayfield Clinic & Spine Institute is recognized as one of the nation's leading physician organizations for clinical care, education, and research of the spine and brain. With 15 neurosurgeons, one neuro-oncologist and one neuro-intensivist, Mayfield treats 20,000 patients from 35 states and 13 countries in a typical year. Mayfield's physicians have pioneered surgical procedures and instrumentation that have revolutionized the medical art of neurosurgery for brain tumors and neurovascular diseases and disorders.

About The Mayfield Spine Institute
The Mayfield Spine Institute, a subsidiary of the Mayfield Clinic, features the largest and most experienced network of spine specialists in the Midwest. Mayfield's multidisciplinary team includes board-certified physicians in neurosurgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation, as well as licensed professionals in physical therapy, occupational therapy and chiropractic.

About University Radiology Associates
University Radiology Associates is affiliated with the UC College of Medicine's Department of Radiology and Division of Radiation Oncology. A member of UC Physicians, University Radiology Associates is staffed with 40 Radiologists and five radiation oncologists, and provides more than 200,000 procedures each year. Radiology services are provided at several sites locally, including The University Hospital, and consultative services are provided for patients around the world. The Division of Radiation Oncology has a long history of providing cutting-edge services in the Tristate region.

About BrainLAB

BrainLAB, based in Germany, is a worldwide leader in the innovation of Image-Guided Surgery (IGS) and stereotactic radiosurgery systems.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: BrainLAB

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