SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 13 Accuray Incorporated(Nasdaq: ARAY), a global leader in the field of radiosurgery, announced todaythat emerging clinical data continues to support CyberKnife radiosurgery forthe treatment of lung cancer, following a study published in the July 2008issue of Clinical Lung Cancer. As scientific evidence mounts, physician usageand patient demand are increasing dramatically -- over the past 12 monthperiod, the number of lung patients treated with the CyberKnife System hasgrown by nearly 50 percent and more than 6,000 lung cancer patients have beentreated to date.
The study, titled "Fractionated Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy in theTreatment of Primary, Recurrent, and Metastatic Lung Tumors," was conducted atthe University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in Pittsburgh, Pa., andfollowed three patient populations over an average 12 month period: 1)patients with primary stage I non-small cell lung cancer, 2) patients whosecancer recurred after it was surgically removed, and 3) patients withmetastatic tumors in the lung. All patients were treated with CyberKniferadiosurgery over a three-day period as outpatients. These patients hadlimited treatment options because they were medically inoperable (unable toundergo surgery due to pre-existing medical conditions or prior surgery) orrefused surgery.
The tumor control and survival outcomes were excellent in the first yearfollowing treatment. Control of tumor growth was achieved in 85 percent ofprimary cancer patients, 92 percent of recurrent lung cancer patients, and 62percent of metastatic cancer patients during the first year of follow-up. Thisis drastically different from response rates for radiation therapy in thispatient population, which are typically associated with poor local control andsurvival rates ranging from 10 to 30 percent at five-year follow-up, as notedwithin the study.
Additionally the study reported few of the complications or side effectsthat are typical with radiation or other more invasive treatments within thefirst 12 months of follow-up. Both invasive surgery and conventionalradiation therapy can be associated with post-treatment complications that cannegatively impact a patient's quality of life. In addition, unlikeconventional radiation therapy that is typically delivered over four to sixweeks, patients completed CyberKnife treatment in three short outpatientvisits. This is extremely significant for patients with a potentiallylife-threatening disease because it allows them to preserve their lifestyleand spend their time with family instead of taking trips to and from thehospital and spending months in treatment.
"The CyberKnife System's ability to non-invasively treat lung cancer withfavorable local control rates and minimal toxicities make it an important toolin the fight against lung cancer," said Dwight Heron, M.D., chairman of theradiation oncology department at UPMC Shadyside. "As demonstrated by ourstudy, this is particularly important for patients who previously had few orno other options because it gives them a chance for a positive outcome whilemaintaining their quality of life."
UPMC treated all the study participants using the Synchrony(R) RespiratoryTracking System, which is the only System in the world that can deliver beamsthat physically move in real-time with 3D tumor motion. The technology allowspatients to breath normally throughout the treatment, while still achievingpinpoint precision and minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.According to the study, Synchrony "can allow for reductions in planning targetvolume margins because of less movement uncertainty while maintaining thedesired level of accuracy."
"With each year that clinical studies are completed and published, we seephysician confidence increase and patient demand grow dramatically," said EuanS. Thomson, Ph.D., president and CEO of A