Celebrating two years at Community Medical Center this month, New Jersey CyberKnifeÊhas treated nearly 300 patients from Ocean County and neighboring areas using advanced CyberKnife® technology.
The center opened in 2011 offering treatment for malignant and benign tumors throughout the body with a noninvasive procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery. As the second most frequently treated disease at New Jersey CyberKnife, brain tumors account for more than a quarter of the center’s total patients.
“The impact we’ve made on the brain tumor community is due in large part to the expertise of our team and the quality of care we provide,” New Jersey CyberKnife medical director Dr. David D’Ambrosio said.
Brain tumors are typically treated with surgery or conventional radiation therapy, though both can be challenging due to sensitive tissue surrounding the tumor. The general anesthesia and overnight hospital stay required with surgery and the harsh side effects of conventional radiation therapy can be difficult for patients to endure.
New Jersey CyberKnife patient Laurel Goldberg underwent three surgeries and conventional radiation therapy for a recurring meningioma before turning to CyberKnife treatment.
A doctor recommended CyberKnife treatment to Goldberg, a New York resident. After researching CyberKnife online, she decided to pursue the treatment at New Jersey CyberKnife.
“After two surgeries a radiologist recommended more surgery, I was drawn to CyberKnife treatment as a new option,” Goldberg said. “Through my research I found several CyberKnife treatment facilities in my area, but chose New Jersey CyberKnife because it is partnered with one of the top 10 hospitals in the U.S.”
The CyberKnife treats tumors with highly focused radiation beams. As an added benefit, the CyberKnife is able to track tumors during treatment and adjust for patient movement, minimizing radiation exposure to healthy surrounding tissue.
“The New Jersey CyberKnife staff was very knowledgeable and made sure I was comfortable, even offering blankets during my treatment sessions,” Goldberg said. “During my five treatments, I relaxed by listening to music, and I felt very comfortable with my knowledge of how the CyberKnife was going to move around me.”
Brain tumors are typically treated in one CyberKnife session, but could require up to five treatment sessions depending on an individual’s diagnosis. In contrast, conventional radiation therapy for brain tumors may require consecutive treatments for five days per week for up to six weeks.
“After having undergone other treatments for her diagnosis, Laurel required a nonsurgical option. She, like many of our patients, was drawn to the convenience of CyberKnife treatment,” Dr. D’Ambrosio said. “Patients typically experience few to no side effects and can return to their daily routines immediately following treatment.”
Goldberg said she experienced no discomfort during treatment and experienced no side effects. The hospital’s patient services team added to the convenience of treatment by providing transportation for Goldberg to and from appointments, removing her need for taxi or other transportation.
“If I could have been treated with CyberKnife as opposed to surgery, I would have done it right away,” Goldberg said.