Wake Forest clinicians, Elekta stereotactic radiosurgery technology to be highlighted in public television program and commercialAtlanta, GA and Winston-Salem, NC United States — Sunday, March 20, 2011
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center’s (WFUBMC) acquisition and use of Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ and Elekta Axesse™ radiosurgery systems for brain and body cancers has earned it the designation, Leksell Center of Radiosurgery, the first in the United States.
A Leksell Center of Radiosurgery is highly qualified and prepared to forward the successful application of SRS/SRT via a multi-disciplinary program of clinical development, peer education and community outreach. A facility designated as a Leksell Center has entered into a formal collaboration with Elekta to participate in clinical studies, provide user training and support community education through case studies and seminars.
“With these two dedicated systems, clinicians can apply radiosurgery to any target in the brain and body,” says Jay Hoey, Executive Vice President, Elekta North America. “Wake Forest was a logical choice for our first Leksell Center due to its prolific use of Perfexion and Axesse over the last two years, and to its commitment to work with Elekta on a range of collaborative projects.”
Gamma Knife surgery role has bright future
With a yearly volume of 300 patients receiving Gamma Knife surgery and 3,000 patients treated, WFUBMC’s Gamma Knife program is the third busiest in the nation. As medical literature continues to clarify the impact of whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT), the role of radiosurgery at WFUBMC and other Gamma Knife centers will become more important, according to radiation oncologist and Gamma Knife program Co-Director, Michael Chan, M.D.
“As better systemic therapies help patients live longer after being diagnosed with brain metastases, patients who receive WBRT are more likely to develop neurocognitive decline and with longer survival, that decline will become more severe,” he says. “Gamma Knife surgery has proved to be a much gentler technique to treat brain metastases. Patients can receive Gamma Knife surgery and not stop their chemotherapy or worry about increased toxicity. There is plenty of evidence to show that combining WBRT with chemotherapy can worsen the patient’s toxicity from the WBRT.”
Elekta appreciated the multidisciplinary structure of WFUBMC’s Gamma Knife program in its Leksell Center selection criteria, Hoey adds.
“Representatives of both the radiation oncology and neurosurgery departments work together as a team with the patient as the owner of the team,” says Stephen Tatter, M.D., Ph.D. WFUBMC neurosurgeon and Gamma Knife program Co-Director. “Each of us sits down with the patient to determine what their goals are, what their fears are, what side effects they’re most worried about, and then we try to put ourselves in their position—knowing the strengths of the other people on the team, or the other modalities we have to offer. It’s hard to overemphasize the value of that.”
Body radiosurgery triples after implementation of Elekta Axesse
Wake Forest clinicians recognized the potential of radiosurgery methods as alternatives to open surgery or less targeted techniques, such as WBRT.
“Radiosurgery has become more important as we try to tailor treatments more precisely to tumor targets, enabling us to avoid exposing normal tissues while also using higher, more therapeutic doses,” says James Urbanic, M.D., WFUBMC radiation oncologist. “Particularly for body tumors, radiosurgery has emerged as a non-invasive option for patients who are not ideal candidates for surgery.”
Since WFUBMC acquired Elekta Axesse , its body radiosurgery cases have tripled to more than 100 cases per year, comprising a variety of cancer sites throughout the body, he adds.
Dr. Urbanic serves as director of the Wake Forest stereotactic radiotherapy course, Principles and Practice of Image Guided Hypofractionated Radiotherapy , which Elekta supports in conjunction with the Leksell Center program. Since 2009, WFUBMC has conducted four courses for radiation therapy professionals and is scheduled to instruct four more in 2011.
Elekta radiosurgery technology to get TV time
Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion and Elekta Axesse will receive exposure to national audiences in the form of an upcoming technology update special and an Elekta commercial. The technology update will feature Wake Forest clinicians and their use of Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion, and is scheduled to air throughout 2011. The Elekta commercial will highlight Leksell Gamma Knife and Elekta Axesse and will air on major cable networks. The commercial is scheduled to begin airing March 21, 2011.
Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy and radiosurgery, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care.Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy and radiosurgery, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care.
Stretching the boundaries of science and technology, providing intelligent and resource-efficient solutions that offer confidence to both healthcare providers and patients, Elekta aims to improve, prolong and even save patient lives, making the future possible today.
Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 5,000 hospitals globally, and every day more than 100,000 patients receive diagnosis, treatment or follow-up with the help of a solution from the Elekta Group.
Elekta employs around 2,500 employees globally. The corporate headquarter is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb.
Stina Thorman, Vice President Corporate Communications, Elekta AB
Tel: +46 8 587 254 37
Time zone: CET: Central European
Michelle Lee, Director, Global Public Relations and Brand Management, Elekta
Tel: +1 770-670-2447
Time zone: EDT: Eastern Daylight Time