Three neurosurgical speciality institutions to acquire CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System

Sunnyvale 16 September 2002Accuray Incorporated, specialised in advanced image-guided radiosurgery, has signed three new contracts for the CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System with Boulder Community Hospital in Boulder, Colorado; Illinois CyberTechnologies Incorporated in Bloomington, Illinois; and St. Joseph's Hospital/Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. The addition of these institutions will bring the total number of CyberKnife sites in the United States to eleven. Installation for all three sites is expected to be completed in early 2003.

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Boulder Community Hospital represents the first community hospital to acquire a CyberKnife in the United States. The increased range of applications made possible by the CyberKnife's technology has made it cost-effective and viable for community hospitals to acquire the system for their patients.

Boulder Community Hospital was founded in 1922 as a community-owned and operated not-for-profit hospital. The organisation provides high quality medical care to the Boulder County community and beyond. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Boulder Community Hospital provides a host of specialised procedures in cardiology, neurology, radiology, and radiation therapy.

Neurosurgeon at Boulder Community Hospital, Jeffrey Thramann, M.D., stated: "In addition to being appreciably more effective than previous radiosurgical tools, the CyberKnife procedure causes patients much less pain and gives surgeons much greater flexibility. Now we can use smaller doses of radiation coming in from a variety of angles to better target tumours and, in the process, avoid harming the healthy tissue around the tumour."

Illinois CyberTechnologies, Incorporated in Bloomington, Illinois represents a physician group that will be partnering with local hospitals and a cancer centre to offer CyberKnife treatments. Ann Stroink, M.D., neurosurgeon at CyberTechnologies, commented: "We are looking forward to being able to offer patients in Illinois and the Midwest the latest technology in tumour treatment. The CyberKnife provides patients with several advantages as a non-invasive, outpatient procedure. It can often be used as an alternative to conventional open surgery and for treating lesions that are inoperable because of location in the body or patient medical condition."

Illinois CyberTechnologies Inc. was established to provide state-of-the-art radiosurgery treatment to patients throughout the State of Illinois and the Midwest. The addition of the CyberKnife will allow for further collaboration with the regional medical community including Central Illinois NeuroHealth Sciences, the Central Illinois NeuroScience Foundation, the Community Cancer Center, OSF St. Joseph Medical Center and BroMenn Regional Medical Center to enhance and extend the treatment options offered to oncology patients.

Unlike the other two facilities, which are purchasing the CyberKnife, Barrow Neurological Institute is acquiring the CyberKnife through the CyberKnife Placement Model (CPM), where risk and revenue are shared between Accuray and the health care facility. Barrow Neurological Institute is a centre of excellence focusing solely on neurological disease.

Robert Spetzler, M.D., Director of the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital, stated: "After extensively reviewing the existing radiosurgery systems currently on the market, we feel the CyberKnife from Accuray offers the best overall solution to augment our already successful radiosurgery programme here at the Barrow Neurological Institute. We are excited about the prospect of working with Accuray as we jointly develop new applications for this surgical tool."

Barrow Neurological Institute is known throughout the world for excellent neurological and neurosurgical care, research and graduate medical education. Barrow at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is one of the largest full-service neuroscience centres in the country.

Thierry Thaure, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Accuray, stated: "We are delighted to receive these new contracts. They illustrate the diversity in types of institutions that can now acquire a CyberKnife. Smaller private hospitals, physician groups, and large medical centres can all bring the benefits of the CyberKnife to their communities. With the ability to treat lesions non-invasively anywhere in the body, the CyberKnife provides a cost-effective means for facilities to offer patients the latest technology in today's financially-constrained health care environment."

The recent new contracts reflect the growing demand in the United States for the FDA-cleared CyberKnife, a radiosurgical device used to perform non-invasive tumour surgery. The CyberKnife combines image-guidance with precision robotic delivery of radiation to track and destroy tumours and other lesions located throughout the body. The CyberKnife's proprietary image-guidance system eliminates the need for the traditional metal head frame required for accurately targeting the radiation. The elimination of the frame expands the use of radiosurgery to other areas of the body outside of the head.

More news about the CyberKnife technology is available in the following VMW August 2002 article New market of extracranial radiosurgery applications reported at Japanese CyberKnife Users' Meeting.


Leslie Versweyveld

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