Patient Story: As a newborn, five-year-old Whitney Boyce was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, a golf ball cluster of veins and arteries. The lesion deprived blood from several parts of her body, turning her blue and sending her into congestive heart failure.
The Road to Recovery: After several non-invasive procedures to treat the lesion, there was a kidney-bean sized portion remaining in a very sensitive area. Whitney's doctor did not want to risk another procedure in that part of the brain, so he turned to Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery. Novalis was able to focus radiation on the tiny lesion and destroy blood vessels in diseased tissue, while leaving surrounding healthy tissue untouched.
"Up until the point of Novalis, we couldn't shape the radiation beam. You had to make some compromises and some of them were less than idealÖ," said Timothy Solberg, director of the medical physics division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
The Dispatch, Lexington, NC, Dec. 17, 2002
Patient Story: Khari Miller's back pain was so severe that he could no longer climb the stairs to his third-floor apartment. Soon, he could barely walk and the medication he was prescribed didn't help control the pain. Miller found out his spinal cord was being compressed by a cancerous tumour that had metastasized from Hodgkin's disease. Several chemotherapy treatments and radiation therapy proved to be unsuccessful in relieving the pain.
The Road to Recovery: Miller was told of a new technology called Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery that enables doctors to treat spinal tumours without harming the surrounding tissue. Two weeks after treatment, Miller reported that he was pain free and off his medication.
"In the past, the potential damage from radiation to the central nervous system has limited the volume and dose of radiation that could be administered to a spine or brain tumor. With the accuracy of Novalis, we can radiate the tumor effectively while minimizing damage to neighboring healthy tissue," said Munther Ajlouni, M.D., division head of Clinical Services for Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital.
Josephine Ford Cancer Center News, Detroit, MI, Fall 2001
Patient Story: Richard Metcalfe was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 1999. In February 2000, the cancer was removed via surgery.
"I went back to the hospital for my MRI, and the cancer re-appeared near the back of my head," Metcalfe said.
The Road to Recovery: Instead of choosing conventional surgery, Metcalfe heard of the radiosurgery process and opted for it. The tumour, which was the size of a pea, was removed, and Metcalfe was in church the Sunday after.
"I came in with cancer in the morning and left without it in the afternoon," Metcalfe said.
"A lot of radiation machines only deal with removing cancer from a region of the head. With this system, we can remove cancer from around the body," said Dr. John C. Breneman, a radiation oncologist at the Precision Radiotherapy.
The Middletown Journal, Middletown, OH, September 15, 2003