When it comes to cancer today there are many different options to look at and discuss with your physician as to which option, depending on your diagnosis and condition would be the best plan, but as this article states, we really won’t know how effective some of the new technology really is until enough time passes to gather such.  Under related reading I listed a few other posts that relate to other prostate cancer treatments that are available or being used perhaps in a clinical trial surrounding.

imageIn looking at the CyberKnife page, there are several additional add on options that can be included, as well as the software required to analyze and create images and reports.  It is also used for treatment of other types of cancers.  As the article states, the Medicare reimbursement for a physician is $1200 for each patient that undergoes the treatment process and it involves 4 to 5 visits with radiation intensified in the cancerous areas, hopefully leaving otherwise healthy tissue and organs untouched.  The treatment time certainly is something that any patient would think about compared to some other alternative treatment plans just simply due to the lesser amount of time needed.

Again, one of the biggest concerns here is the lack of time an information, are patients being cured and time is about the only method that will allow to gain the statistical information needed for studies to be compiled.  On the other side of the coin, there’s the questions of whether or not the treatment is being oversold, with advertising on radio, billboards, etc. as mentioned here with billboards flooding the highways in Florida as an example.  Just like many procedures out today, there’s always the question of insurance and Medicare coverage, some will cover, others will not as it does run a bit more than other treatments.  Just recently in the news the offices at CMS were rallying to try and do some cost management to be able to make decisions on what they would or would not cover, in essence removing this decision process from the advice of the physician treating the patient and only covering the cheapest option, which in turn would be disastrous at it would serve the purpose of putting such technology out of the reach of many patients diagnosed with cancer and needed treatments as such.  image

Court Blocks White House Push on Medicare Expenses

Similar types of treatment therapy are also being used in the treatment of breast cancer such as the MammoSite , and again the same question arises, is it a cure and the need for more time to pass to gather the needed data.  On the other hand not to approve and get some of the new technology out there, would a shame as well.  So much of this is still a science in essence and until there is enough time to substantiate the clinical documentation, it will somewhat still be an opinion or guessing game to a degree.  In the meantime, who knows what might appear on the horizon tomorrow?  BD 

When Georgetown University Hospital bought a new high-tech system in 2001 to treat patients with radiation, doctors at first used the computerized, robotic device only for brain and spinal tumors that would be difficult if not impossible to fight any other way. But Georgetown, along with Virginia Hospital Center and others around the country, is now aggressively marketing the $4 million machine, known as the CyberKnife, for early prostate cancer, one of the most common cancers. That trend has sparked an intense debate about whether it represents an important advancement or the latest example of an expensive and potentially profitable new technology proliferating too soon.

The CyberKnife enables men to complete treatment in just four or five sessions by much more accurately delivering about quadruple the usual dose of radiation each time. Doctors inject four tiny gold cylinders into the prostate to create a precise target. The patient lies on his back for each one-hour session as a robotic arm swivels around to shoot dozens of beams from multiple angles.

Safety and Effectiveness of Using CyberKnife on Prostate Cancer Patients Debated

Related Reading:

New Online Calculator for Prostate Cancer Patients and Doctors Developed

Despite Doubts, Cancer Therapy Draws Patients - HIFU Prostate Cancer Procedure

Surgery By Numbers - Glowing Cancer Cells

FDA Approves HIFU Clinical Trial For Recurrent Prostate Cancer

New Generation Of Radiation Therapy More Precise - TomoTherapy for Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Doctor and robot a life-saving team - Orange County, CA

Bloodless Prostate Cancer Surgery Performed

Court Blocks White House Push on Medicare Expenses


  1. A brand new tool for detecting prostate cancer that could make a huge difference in reducing the chances a cancer will be missed. Prostate cancer patients can better decide on the right treatment by using this online calculator. Know more 'Prostate Cancer Detection' visit here and watch the video http://www.asiasbestdoctors.com/story_1005.html

  2. Official Testimony of
    Fred >>>>>, Patient
    SBRT Treatment of Cancer of the Prostate
    Palmetto GBA/Medicare Open Draft LCD meeting
    November 18, 2008

    Good morning Palmetto GBA administrators, doctors and other interested parties. Thank you for allowing me to discuss Medicare coverage of SBRT/CyberKnife for treating prostate cancer.
    My name is Fred >>>>>> and I am a small business owner. I am testifying on behalf of myself as an interested party, a prostate cancer patient treated with the CyberKnife and a prostate cancer advocate. I am also a founder of ZERO the Project to End Prostate Cancer.
    I was diagnosed with prostate cancer (PCa) in Aug. of 2007. My PSA was 4.0 ng/ml, a transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy revealed a stage T1c adenocarcinoma involving the right mid to right apex with a Gleason score of 3+3; in 3 of 12 cores.
    I discussed all treatment options with my family doctor, doctors at Stanford, Surgeons and Radiation Oncologists. I reviewed all options with my wife. As a father of a nine year old son, Business owner, treatment recovery time was an important consideration. I have a clogged artery which made the risk of surgery higher than I was willing to consider.
    I selected SBRT/CyberKnife treatment option for prostate cancer at Stanford. Their clinical trial data, started Dec. 2003, was very encouraging with ZERO biological failures and minimal side effects (my research suggested the CyberKnife is at least as effective as IMRT). My CyberKnife treatment was five days of one hour sessions with no recovery time (IMRT is five days per week for eight weeks). I was advised of and understand the long term risk of radiation side effects and felt the advantages of SBRT/CyberKnife treatment far out weighted the long term risk.
    I completed CyberKnife treatment (May 7, 2008) by Dr. Christopher King. Fourteen days post CK treatment there were minimal side effects. I continued to work every day during and after treatment.
    It is now over six months post CyberKnife treatment. I am 110% of pretreatment base line for all related functions. The plus 10% is from improved urinations. Before treatment I would get up 3-4 times a night now I typically get up once. My PSA at the six month follow up was 1.09 ng/ml. SBRT/CyberKnife has treated my prostate cancer and has improved my quality of life.
    The key messages I hope to impart to you today are:
    1. The previous Medicare contractor in California, NHIC, provided coverage for SBRT/CyberKnife treatment for prostate cancer.
    2. SBRT/CyberKnife treatment for prostate cancer is consistent with the Presidents statement from his press conference announcing the MMA of 2003. With this law, we're giving older Americans better choices and more control over their health care, so they can receive the modern medical care they deserve.
    3. SBRT/CyberKnife treatment for prostate cancer is consistent with Mark B. McClellan, M.D. PhD Administrator. “Our nation has made a promise, a solemn promise to America's seniors. We have pledged to help our citizens find affordable medical care in the later years of life.”
    4. As outlined in the CMS Statement of Work for the Palmetto Medicare Jurisdiction (J1), and on Palmettos Website: The MAC shall select the least restrictive Local Coverage Determination (LCD) from the existing LCDs on a single topic when consolidating LCDs. CMS has identified that there may be instances where the decision to implement "no policy" would meet the definition of the "least restrictive LCD".
    5. There are no prostate cancer treatment options without serious risk of permanent side effects and biological failure.
    6. The patient in consultation with his doctor(s) must decide what treatments are appropriate for their unique circumstance.
    a. Some patients live in rural areas with limited or no local treatment centers.
    b. Some patients have medical conditions that make surgery a high risk.
    c. Some patients have limited mobility making treatment very difficult.
    d. Some patients continue to work full time and this trend is increasing. Making treatment recovery and time away from work an important factor.
    e. Some patients have limited financial resources that limit treatment options due to cost of travel, food and lodging.
    7. The majority of Medicare Contractors include SBRT/CyberKnife treatment for prostate cancer.
    8. Blue Shield of California the largest insurer in the state, in July of 2008, added SBRT/CyberKnife to their policy for treatment of prostate cancer.
    All of the above support Medicare coverage of SBRT/CyberKnife treatment for cancer of the prostate.
    Please consider the fundamental right of patients to make treatment decisions for themselves in consultation with their doctors and families, and for the patients well being and overall quality of life.

    I have no financial interest in Accuray Inc., Stanford University Medical Center or any other medical provider.
    Thank you for this opportunity to appear before you today.”
    Please contact CMS feed back link (http://questions.cms.hhs.gov/cgi-bin/cmshhs.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php?p_prods=8,9,536) and contacts (http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CMSLeadership/06_Office_CMM.asp#TopOfPage) and your elected representatives ( http://www.senate.com/ ) to give cancer patients the option of treated with the CyberKnife.

  3. I think that cyberknife is excellent technology. It provides unresectable tumors with the proper treatments.

  4. florida radiation oncology can be utilized as a kind of adjuvant care to finish the eradication of tumor cells or it can be used as a palliative type of treatment where cure isn’t possible and the target is to alleviate the manifestations of cancer.

  5. I received my CyberKnife treatment for a Stage T2B prostate tumor with a Gleason score of 3+3 and a rapidly rising PSA of 9.4 in late May, 2008 at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C. I had no side effects worthy of mentioning, my PSA dropped quickly and at my 24-month checkup was at 0.7. I would not want anyone I cared about who is diagnosed to miss out on CyberKnife if he were eligible for it --it is WAY better than any alternative!


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