National CyberKnife study under way at Community

Community Regional Medical Center is among 10 facilities selected to participate in a national study to test the success of CyberKnife® in treating lung tumors.

Standard lung cancer treatment involves either surgery or a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Although radiation and chemotherapy can have positive effects, they are unlikely to cure this type of cancer.

The state-of-the-art CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery system is a new type of technology that uses a unique image-guided system to precisely focus large doses of X-rays on the tumor, remaining accurate even if the patient moves during the procedure.

The Regional Medical Center is the first in the world to use CyberKnife® G4 (Generation 4) technology.

The patient benefits of the new procedure include:

  • Minimal pain or discomfort
  • No incisions
  • Minimal risk of complications associated with other conventional therapies
  • Ability to treat tumors previously considered inoperable
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Short or no recovery time
  • Immediate return to normal activities
  • Fewer visits than with other conventional treatment methods
  • The ability to treat multiple tumors at different locations during a single procedure

“It’s a fantastic, state-of-the-art technology, which will become the future methodology for treatments,” said Dr. Douglas Wong, the principal radiation oncologist conducting the study at the Regional Medical Center.

The purpose of this study is to see if this treatment will help patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer and to evaluate the effect of the treatment on their quality of life over time.

“Many physicians are still unaware of CyberKnife®’s broad clinical applications,” said Dr. Wong in a recent issue of Bay Area Oncology News.

Treatment is given between three and 21 days, and patients are monitored by the study doctor at specific intervals over the next two years, and then yearly.

Facilities participating in the study include:

  • Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
  • Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno
  • Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
  • Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto
  • Sinai Hospital of Baltimore
  • St. Catherine Hospital, Chicago
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital & Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix
  • St. Anthony Hospital, Oklahoma City
  • University of Pittsburgh


Eddie Hughes reported this story.. He can be reached at