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The Ottawa Hospital treats first patients with CyberKnife

Cyber Knife

The Ottawa Hospital provides improved patient access to cancer surgeries

September 24, 2010 – The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) today announced the launch of unprecedented radiation treatment through CyberKnife for Ottawa and Eastern Ontario patients. CyberKnife is the world’s first and only robotic radiosurgery system.

The CyberKnife requires no scalpels or incisions. Its advanced image-guided software, coupled with the manoeuvrability of its three-metre robotic arm allow CyberKnife to deliver hundreds of beams of high dose radiation directly to a tumour with surgical precision.

“We aspire to provide each patient with the world-class care, exceptional service and compassion we would want for our loved ones. Providing our patients with this advanced, pain-free, non-invasive treatment brings us a step closer to that vision,” said Dr. Jack Kitts, TOH’s CEO.

CyberKnife is especially effective against brain, lung, prostate, spinal, liver, pancreatic and kidney cancers. Traditional treatments provide high doses of radiation to an area much larger than the actual tumour, which can result in damage to healthy tissue and – depending on the location of a tumour – a broad range of side effects. CyberKnife delivers ultra-high doses of radiation with pinpoint accuracy, even adjusting to a patient’s breathing. The end result spares healthy tissue and reduces side effects.

The Ottawa Hospital is now one of only three hospitals in Canada to offer CyberKnife treatment. This technology increases TOH’s radiation therapy capacity, and offers new hope to patients previously diagnosed with inoperable tumours.

CyberKnife technology will free up several hours of treatment time on existing radiotherapy machines every week, allowing the hospital to treat more patients. “This will enable patients to bypass the operating room, freeing up valuable surgical time for other cancer patients,” said Paula Doering, Vice-President for The Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Program. “We’re delighted to offer this exciting new treatment, closer to home.”

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation is funding the entire cost of the CyberKnife. Results so far are encouraging, with the Foundation closing in on its $3.5 million goal. “We’re in the final stretch,” said Susan Doyle, CEO of the Foundation. “We need $685,000 more by December, 2010. We are confident our community will help us take this important step in making a difference for our cancer patients and their families.”

Media Contact:
Hazel Harding
Communications Advisor
The Ottawa Hospital
Email: hharding@toh.on.ca 
Tel.: 613-737-8460