Accuray unveils three new CyberKnife radiosurgery products at the annual ASTRO meeting

Sunnyvale 08 October 2002Accuray Incorporated will be releasing three new products for its image-guided, robotic CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System. The products, which are scheduled for commercial release in 2003, are designed to significantly enhance the CyberKnife, which is already the most advanced and versatile radiosurgery system on the market. Accuray launched these new products, named Synchrony, Express, and Open Architecture Software, at this year's annual meeting of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) in New Orleans, Louisiana. The new products will be add-on enhancements to the existing CyberKnife with Dynamic Tracking Software (DTS) system.

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Synchrony is Accuray's new system for delivering dynamic radiosurgery to tumours that move with respiration. The Synchrony system precisely tracks tumours in or near the lungs as they move, enabling highly focused beams of radiation to destroy the tumours with minimal damage to adjacent normal tissue.

Synchrony records the breathing movements of a patient's chest and combines that information with sequential x-ray pictures of tiny markers inserted inside the tumour to enable precise delivery of radiation during any point in the respiration cycle. CyberKnife with Synchrony is the only radiosurgery device capable of targeting tumours in this manner.

According to Ms. Kristine Gagliardi, Director of Worldwide Product Marketing at Accuray, "Synchrony is the only technology at ASTRO that takes full advantage of robotics. Use of Synchrony eliminates the more time consuming breath-hold procedure, as moving targets can now be tracked and irradiated while in motion. We are particularly excited about this product because it will be a key feature as we move into the body radiosurgery market."

CyberKnife Express is a combination of new software and hardware that significantly speeds up radiosurgery treatments using the CyberKnife. The new software moves the CyberKnife's robot faster between treatment beam positions, and new technology developments enable faster delivery of radiation. The end result is treatments that are estimated to be 20-25 percent faster than conventional CyberKnife treatments.

The third product announced at ASTRO is a new "Open Architecture" version of the CyberKnife treatment planning system. The treatment planning software, which optimises the radiation beam parameters, uses a combination of medical images such as Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance (MR) and/or Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to analyse exactly how extensive a targeted tumour is.

Several vendors have developed software systems that enable "image fusion" or the complex overlay of these different image types. Accuray's new Open Architecture software will allow its users to incorporate these image fusion software systems into the CyberKnife treatment planning process while continuing to use Accuray's advanced calculation methods to optimise treatment beam parameters.

Euan Thomson, Ph.D., Accuray's Chief Executive Officer, commented: "It is a credit to the entire Accuray team that we are able to simultaneously announce three such major developments. Our open architecture approach to treatment planning will allow our users the flexibility to work with state-of-the-art image processing systems to enable precise tumour localisation. The combination of Synchrony and CyberKnife Express gives the CyberKnife the capability to rapidly track and treat any solid tumour in the body, even those that are moving with respiration. The CyberKnife system is now further ahead of any competitive technology than ever before."

The unique CyberKnife technology was developed in co-operation with Stanford University and was cleared by the FDA in August 2001 to provide radiosurgery for lesions anywhere in the body when radiation treatment is indicated. To date, more than 3000 patients have been treated by the CyberKnife worldwide.

The latest generation CyberKnife system offers proprietary skull and fiducial tracking features. Targets outside of the head are tracked in six dimensions through the use of small fiducials that are percutaneously implanted near the tumour and serve as reference points for tumour location. During radiosurgical treatment, a proprietary image-guidance system tracks the position of the fiducials.

Information about tumour position is communicated to the robotic arm, which can re-position the radiation-generating linear accelerator to compensate for changes in patient position. The CyberKnife is the only radiosurgical system in the world that precisely corrects for patient movement during actual treatment. The level of accuracy achievable by the system allows higher doses of radiation to be used, which provides the potential for greater tumour-killing efficacy and greater likelihood of cure.

Accuray Incorporated designs, manufactures, and distributes the CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System in the USA and certain markets internationally. Accuray has as its mission to enable full-body radiosurgery using image-guided robotics and to make this technology available to physicians throughout the world. More news about the CyberKnife technology is available in the following VMW October 2002 article Three neurosurgical speciality institutions to acquire CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System.


Leslie Versweyveld

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