Growth of extracranial radiosurgery highlighted at Annual CyberKnife Users' Meeting

Sunnyvale 12 December 2003Extracranial radiosurgery using the CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System was the highlighted topic at the Third Annual CyberKnife Users' Meeting, held November 13-15 at the Silverado Resort in Napa Valley, California. The meeting was co-hosted by Accuray and the CyberKnife Society. The Users' Meeting featured clinical presentations by users from around the world and provided opportunity for networking and education on new technological and clinical advances with the CyberKnife System. Over 110 participants attended, representing surgeons, radiation oncologists, physicists, and other affiliated medical personnel from 20 sites throughout the world.


John Adler, M.D., President of the CyberKnife Society, commented: "A wealth of information was shared at this meeting which strives to provide users insight on the novel clinical applications now being pursued with the CyberKnife technology. In particular, data from studies using staged or hypo-fractionated radiosurgery presented at the meeting suggests improved clinical outcomes for patients with acoustic neuroma and peri-optic lesions."

"Furthermore, preliminary studies suggest that CyberKnife radiosurgery may have a promising role treating locally advanced pancreatic cancer and peri-aortic lymph node metastases from cervical and colorectal cancer. This meeting has been an excellent forum for users to meet in person, share clinical experiences, and foster a sense of excitement throughout our evolving community, a role that the CyberKnife Society continues to actively promote for users through its Web site", Dr. Adler added.

At the meeting, Accuray also announced its commitment to standardized protocol development through the company's plans to sponsor two multi-centre outcome studies. One study will evaluate dynamic radiosurgery of lung tumours using CyberKnife with Synchrony, Accuray's product that tracks and delivers precision radiosurgery to targets that move throughout respiration. The other study will focus on staged CyberKnife radiosurgery of spinal lesions. Both studies are currently undergoing design and development.

Thierry Thaure, Accuray's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, commented: "The growing trend towards extracranial applications was very evident at this meeting. Of our 24 clinical presentations by users, 17 covered extracranial topics. Usage analysis at our sites has shown that the percentage of extracranial treatments has been steadily increasing annually and already exceeds 40 percent at some sites."

"Based on this trend, we expect that by the next Users' Meeting, 50 percent of all CyberKnife cases being performed each year will be extracranial. This trend, which is completely redefining the radiosurgery market, is made possible by our advanced image-guidance technology that is the only system in the world capable of correcting for patient movement in real time, enabling the CyberKnife to achieve sub-millimeter total clinical accuracy anywhere in the body", explained Mr. Thaure.

Attendee James Schwade, M.D., Director of the CyberKnife Center of Miami, Florida, commented: "The Users' Meeting has been a valuable means of staying abreast of new applications, technological improvements, and related topics of interest such as reimbursement issues and customer service. Our new CyberKnife Center opens in Miami in two weeks and the knowledge base represented at the Users' Meeting will be a great resource for our successful launch."

The CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System is a non-invasive, 100 percent frameless image-guided radiosurgery system that can ablate tumours and other lesions anywhere in the body without open surgery. The CyberKnife treats in single or staged - typically 2 to 5 - sessions, and monitors internal reference points in the anatomy such as skeletal landmarks or small implanted markers, to correct in real time for patient movement during actual treatment. It delivers multiple beams of precisely directed radiation that converge upon the tumour while minimizing injury to surrounding healthy tissue.

The CyberKnife is the only system in the world that integrates image-guidance and robotic delivery of radiation to deliver proven sub-millimeter total clinical accuracy with T4 or Tight to the Tumour conformality. The sub-millimeter accuracy allows higher doses of radiation to be used, providing potential for greater tumour-killing efficacy and greater likelihood of cure. The unique CyberKnife technology, which was developed in co-operation with Stanford University, was cleared by the FDA in August 2001 and received CE approval in September 2002 to provide radiosurgery for lesions anywhere in the body when radiation treatment is indicated. To date, the CyberKnife System has been used to treat more than 6500 patients worldwide.

Accuray is a privately held corporation whose primary focus is to revolutionize the treatment of solid cancers anywhere in the body by the precise delivery of high doses of radiation using the CyberKnife Radiosurgery System. Through the development and promotion of the CyberKnife System and participation in ongoing clinical research at prominent academic hospitals, Accuray will help make stereotactic radiosurgery a viable and accessible option for patients all over the world. More information on the company is available in the VMW April 2003 article Five new United States hospitals to acquire CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System.

Leslie Versweyveld

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