Californian Neurosurgery Centres of Excellence to acquire CyberKnife with DTS for non-invasive tumour ablation

Sunnyvale 25 March 2002The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center and the University of Southern California (USC) Kenneth Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital have signed contracts to acquire the CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System through Accuray's CyberKnife Placement Model (CPM). CPM is a joint venture arrangement where risk and revenue are shared between the medical institution and Accuray. Installation for these two sites is expected to be completed by late 2002 to early 2003.


CyberKnife with Dynamic Tracking Software (DTS) is a state-of-the-art device for non-invasive tumour ablation which uses robotics and advanced image-guidance to track and destroy small lesions through the delivery of large doses of accurately targeted radiation. Typically, up to a hundred beams of radiation are cross-fired through the lesion resulting in a very high killing dose administered to the target with minimal radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. The CyberKnife with DTS was cleared by the FDA in August 2001 for radiosurgery treatment of lesions anywhere in the body when radiation treatment is indicated.

Chief of Neurological Surgery at the USC Norris Cancer Hospital, Michael Apuzzo, M.D., stated: "The unique combination of robotic delivery and image-guided targeting makes radiosurgery treatment possible in areas of the body typically untreatable with existing radiosurgical systems because of location. A specific new area of application includes the spine, the logical next step for neurosurgeons already familiar with the benefits of radiosurgery in the brain."

Dr. Apuzzo added: "The CyberKnife is typically an outpatient procedure and can offer a very attractive alternative for certain patients facing open surgery and for some patients with inoperable conditions. The addition of the CyberKnife to our radiosurgery programme at USC will expand our intra-cranial capabilities and allow us to use radiosurgery on extra-cranial lesions for the first time."

William Wara, M.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at UCSF Medical Center, noted: "By relying on skeletal landmarks or small implanted fiducials to locate the target, the CyberKnife eliminates the need for the invasive stereotactic frame used in existing radiosurgical systems for target localisation purposes. The use of the stereotactic frame outside of the head is not very practical and has therefore largely limited radiosurgery's application to the body. The CyberKnife's image-guidance system provides an elegant means of targeting tumours throughout the body, and allows for correction of patient movement during treatment to ensure highly accurate radiation delivery without the need for the frame."

Thierry Thaure, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Accuray, concluded: "We welcome these new hospitals to our growing family of CyberKnife sites in the United States and are excited about new markets opened up with our DTS system. We feel that the recognition of the CyberKnife's advantages by premier health care institutions such as USC and UCSF Medical Center, validates the CyberKnife technology. The ability to replace major, invasive operations with a non-invasive, outpatient procedure is a significant benefit for both the patient and the health care facility."

More news about the CyberKnife technology is available in the following VMW March 2002 article Latest CyberKnife version uses fiducial tracking to treat tumours outside of the head.

Leslie Versweyveld

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