Remove tumors without a conventional scalpel

Madrid, Feb 18 (EFE) .- (Image: Jesús Bartolomé) Removing tumors without a conventional scalpel, without anesthesia and without postoperative surgery is possible using robotic radiosurgery, a technique that achieves local control of cancer in 80 or 90 percent of patients. cases, depending on the type of tumor. This has been explained to Efe by Dr. Luis Aznar, from the Radiation Oncology Unit of the Ruber Internacional clinic in Madrid, which has this system, of which there are 273 units in the world and 45 in Europe. This sophisticated, high-generation device, commercially called “Ciberknife”, is a precise and powerful linear accelerator with a robotic arm that follows in real time the movement of the tumor caused by the patient’s breathing, without damaging healthy tissues. “The robot breathes with the tumor and verifies in real time that it is in the right place, performing the treatment with sub-millimeter precision,” said Dr. Aznar. In this way, a sharp decrease in side effects is achieved, an increase in the dose that can be administered to the tumor, and an increase in the response rate and therapeutic index compared to other radiotherapy techniques. The system “allows surgery without opening the patient” and thanks to it, tumors that were not possible before, such as brain, pancreas, lung, prostate or liver, are treated. A pulmonary nodule, liver metastasis, or prostate carcinoma can be treated in very few sessions. It is very useful in patients who for different reasons cannot be operated on, but even in cases where intervention is possible, “local control of the tumor is similar to if we do conventional surgery, with the advantages of not having to entering the operating room, the postoperative period and the risks of anesthesia “. Its use is indicated in primary tumors and metastases, but also in those that were operated on at the time and have reappeared. In the latter case, it is assessed whether radiosurgery is viable, said Dr. Aznar. This technique is also indicated in people who have received conventional radiotherapy and who must undergo treatment again, since by protecting the organs near the tumor it allows treating already irradiated areas. At present, more than 100,000 patients have been treated around the world and around 1,200 at Ruber Internacional, a pioneer in developing and implementing this treatment in Spain. The hospital sometimes receives patients derived from the public system, in cases where “the necessary technology is not available to carry out a viable treatment,” Aznar assured. Themistócles Maruán is a typical patient. He suffers from a tumor in the head of the pancreas that affects the nearby vessels of the celiac trunk (in front of the vertebrae), which makes conventional surgery have a very high risk and even a fatal outcome, explained Dr. A.

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