The UK’s first robotic
CyberKnife radiotherapy machine, based at The Harley Street Clinic in central
London, has just treated its 300th patient since it was commissioned
two years ago.
The 300th patient was a woman treated for
lung cancer under the supervision of
oncologist, Dr David Landau. Until the
advent of CyberKnife, many lung cancers were untreatable using radiation since
tumours were frequently adjacent to soft tissue or organs that could easily be
The robotic machine has also
become one of the first in Europe to receive
new technology which can speed up both the planning and delivery of
radiotherapy treatments. In some cases,
the upgrading also allows the treatment of more types of tumours than even the
original configuration would allow.
Robotic Radiosurgery System combines continuous image-guidance technology with computer-controlled
robotics to deliver a prescribed dose of radiation to static or moving tumours.
The CyberKnifesystem utilises a
compact linear accelerator attached to a computer-controlled robotic arm to
target a number of pencil-thin beams of radiation at a tumour from many different directions with
sub-millimetre accuracy. It literally ‘paints’ radiation dose around a tumour.
approach results in a high dose of radiation concentrated within and conforming
to the tumour where the beams converge.This reduces the risk of damaging
healthy tissue surrounding a tumour.
Because a larger dose of radiation can be delivered targeting the tumour
from all angles, it also means patients have far fewer radiotherapy sessions
than is the case with other radiotherapy machines.
new enhancement for CyberKnife not only gives better image fusion of the
diagnostic images and the planning CT scan, it increases its ability to target
more cancers, notably lung cancers. In
some cases the treatment can be carried out even faster than before.
Chief Executive of The Harley Street Clinic, Mr Neil Buckley, said that
CyberKnife had marked a step change in radiotherapy treatment in the UK.
“Speeding up treatment,
making the treatment far more accurate and controllable and being able to treat
more types of cancer is what we all want to achieve for our patients and we are
delighted to have pioneered this technology in the UK,” he said. “Our patients can access our cancer service
at any time in their ‘cancer journey’ and frequently patients will have a
choice of venue for diagnostics and imaging and where they see their
“With all the new
diagnostic and cancer treatment technology we have installed over the past
three years or so, The Harley Street Clinic and its sister hospitals have
created the most advanced cancer diagnostic treatment platform in Europe.
“We have set up an
unrivalled network of diagnostic and treatment centres in and around London where patients can
get fast access to some of the most distinguished cancer specialists in the
world. We bring the very latest and
proven treatments to this country and uniquely we also have our own phase-one
clinical trials unit based here in Harley
now have a comprehensive cancer service in the UK second only in size to that of
the NHS,” said Mr Buckley.
Cancer treatment news : 2 December 2011