Dr. Simon– R.M. had been fighting cancer, which began as male breast cancer, since November of 1999. After his initial treatment with chemo and radiation, he was symptom free for five years. However, three years ago, the cancer metastasized to his lumbar. He endured intense pain for six months despite taking narcotic pain medication and curtailing many activities. He had to stop playing golf, which had been very helpful in managing the stress of his illness. His radiation oncologist, Dr. Frank Masino of Stamford Hospital suggested he might be a candidate for treatment with CyberKnife®, a noninvasive image-guided robotic radiosurgery system that delivers highly precise beams of radiation to its target. He sent Rick for an evaluation with neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Simon.
“R.M. had two options,” explained Dr. Simon. “He could undergo an extensive spinal surgery to remove part of the tumor with a spinal fusion, or he could be treated with Cyberknife to try to shrink the tumor non-invasively by pin pointing radiation directly to the tumor site.” R.M. chose Cyberknife.
After a dry run to check radiation beam alignment, Dr. Simon and the Cyberknife team at Stamford Hospital administered four treatments over four days, each one lasting about two hours. By the end of the second day, R.M. already felt some relief from the pain. At the end of the fourth treatment, the pain was gone. R.M. was thrilled, even more so when he was able to return to golf just a couple of days later. He has been pain free ever since.
“The Cyberknife allows us to use maximum doses of radiation, with minimal risk to the normal surrounding tissue,” said Dr. Simon. ” R.M. responded quickly but every patient is different, and it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to experience the full benefit of the treatment.” – RM (Cyberknife)