Eradicating cancerous tumors without surgery now is possible at The University of Toledo Medical Center with the newest technology that kills cancer cells with minimal effects on normal tissues.
The $3.5 million Edge, manufactured by Varian Medical Systems, destroys tumors with high-dose, extremely focused radiation beams and is available at UTMC’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center. UTMC is one of five medical centers in the world to have this advanced technology.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Edge radiosurgery system will be held Thursday, Aug. 21, at 10:30 a.m. in the center.
“We call it ‘surgery without a knife’ because we can completely destroy these tumors, but with no incision, no pain and no recovery time,” said Dr. Changhu Chen, professor and chair of radiation oncology. “This technique instead uses radiation with pinpoint accuracy to obliterate the tumors without harming healthy tissue.”
This technique, called stereotactic radiosurgery, is a growing non-invasive treatment that is especially useful for metastatic disease, when cancer spreads from one organ or part of the body to another. It can treat tumors considered inoperable or too difficult to reach, as well as those affecting any part of the body, including the brain, liver, spine and bones.
Radiosurgery is particularly beneficial for treating tumors in organs that constantly move during breathing, such as the lungs and liver, because the technology is able to track that movement and follow the location of the tumor in real time.
“In the past, patients with cancer spread to distant sites in the body were often left with few options other than chemotherapy. Now that is no longer the case,” said Dr. Krishna Reddy, UTMC radiation oncologist. “Not only can we provide effective treatment to eliminate tumors in difficult locations, but we can do so in some cases with a single dose of treatment, and in others with just a handful of treatments over about one week. Treatments can be as short as 15 minutes, with patients in and out of the office in an hour.”
The Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center also has a Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator. The addition of the latest Edge technology with the center’s experienced radiation oncology staff with years of experience will expand UTMC’s radiosurgery capabilities.