Ontario introduces CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery at Juravinski Cancer
Centre

Technology Offers New Option for Cancer Patients

HAMILTON, ON, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - Ontario marks a milestone with the announcement of the province's first CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery treatment option for cancer patients at Juravinski Cancer Centre. The technology will offer many cancer patients an effective alternative to surgery for some cancers.

The technology is the world's first and only robotic radiosurgery system and it is designed to treat tumors anywhere in the body with sub-millimeter accuracy. Within Canada, this form of radiation therapy is only available at one Quebec cancer centre and it is new to Ontario.

"The addition of the CyberKnife to Ontario is great news for cancer patients," said Terrence Sullivan, President and CEO, Cancer Care Ontario. "This new technology allows a level of precision that is not currently available for some cancer patients, especially for those who have tumours which are considered inoperable or surgically complex."

Unlike a traditional radiation treatment machine which delivers radiation in a linear way, the CyberKnife system has a robotic arm which can move around the patient to deliver radiation. It has a sophisticated tracking system which uses x-rays to ensure that the radiation beam is directed precisely where the patient requires treatment. In addition, this image-guided approach continually corrects for any movement, such as breathing, helping to make sure that the beam is optimally positioned during the whole treatment.

"The Juravinski Cancer Centre is renowned for our expertise in clinical trials and evaluating shorter, more effective radiation treatments for cancer patients," said Dr. Bill Evans, President of the Juravinski Cancer Centre. "We're looking forward to developing further research into the use of this technology to decrease treatment time for patients with cancers of the prostate and breast."

The Juravinski Cancer Centre Foundation raised approximately $1 million towards the cost of the CyberKnife which will replace an older piece of equipment currently at the hospital. It will be available for patient use in spring 2010.

"We are grateful and thrilled with the generous support we've received from Mischa Weisz, SC Johnson Canada and other supporters of the Juravinski Cancer Centre Foundation who have made the acquisition of the CyberKnife possible," said Pearl Veenema, President and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation.

A selection process was held by Cancer Care Ontario to determine the location of host centres for this technology. After evaluating applications, an expert panel selected Juravinski Cancer Centre to be one of two sites in Ontario, with the Ottawa Hospital also in line to host the Cyberknife technology. The plan for the installation of the CyberKnife at the Juravinski Cancer Centre is now fully approved.

Cancer Care Ontario is the provincial agency responsible for continually improving cancer services. As the government's cancer advisor, Cancer Care Ontario works to reduce the number of people diagnosed with cancer, and make sure that patients receive better care every step of the way.

The Juravinski Cancer Centre Foundation supports and enhances patient care, research and education at the Juravinski Cancer Centre through developing, managing and distributing charitable resources.

The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Regional Cancer Program oversees the delivery and quality of cancer services for the counties of Brant, Burlington, Haldimand, Hamilton, Niagara and most of Norfolk. It is one of 13 Regional Cancer Programs created by Cancer Care Ontario in 2005 to ensure cancer care is delivered according to province-wide quality standards.

SOURCE Cancer Care Ontario

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Agnes Bongers, Sr. Public Relations Specialist, Hamilton Health Sciences, (905) 521-2100 ext. 76056, bongers@hhsc.ca; Lenore Bromley, Sr. Advisor - Public Affairs, Cancer Care Ontario, (416) 971-9800 ext. 3383, lenore.bromley@cancercare.on.ca


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