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New Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) Protocols Fuel Interest in Advanced Lung and Liver Treatments

WESTCHESTER, Ill., Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- While many clinicians around the world have adopted radiosurgery for the treatment of cancer, advances in technology along with newly-established treatment protocols introduced at this summer's 5th International Conference of the Novalis Circle, have fueled increased interest in broadening the application of radiosurgery.  

"Radiosurgery is certainly not new to the medical community, but equipment enhancements and increased collaboration among clinicians is driving us to utilize it in new and exciting ways," said Deborah Benzil, M.D., chairperson of the Novalis Circle Conference this year and neurosurgeon with the Mount Kisco Medical Group in Mount Kisco, N.Y. "More than 200 clinicians representing 80 counties convened for this year's Novalis Circle event. This level of participation speaks to the greater medical community's desire to gain access to and utilize leading radiosurgery treatment protocols, while also collaborating with peers on new techniques and applications."

Of particular interest to attendees at this year's Novalis Circle event, sponsored by Brainlab, a leading provider of radiosurgery technology, were new stereotactic body radiation therapy treatment (SBRT) protocols for the lung and liver.

One such protocol, introduced by Bin Teh, M.D., vice chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, is providing encouraging results in using fractionated body radiation therapy (F-SBRT) to control primary, recurrent and metastatic lung cancer. Producing control rates greater than 90 percent, Dr. Teh explained that the lung protocol can help clinicians effectively treat patients that may be too compromised for invasive surgery.

"For the first time in 50 years, we have a new treatment option – F-SBRT – that can positively impact patients living with primary or metastatic lung cancers," said Dr. Teh. "When shared among peers, successful radiotherapy protocols help physicians confidently meet the challenge of safely and effectively treating patients in a non-invasive manner," said Dr. Teh.  

A liver treatment protocol utilizing SBRT, developed and introduced by Percy Lee, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the University of California – Los Angeles' (UCLA) Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, is providing hope to patients awaiting liver transplantation.

Dr. Lee, who initiated the use of SBRT for liver treatment at UCLA two years ago, said the introduction of precise radiation treatments through Novalis® Radiosurgery is opening a world of new possibilities to clinicians and their patients.

"In the past, physicians hesitated giving patients awaiting liver transplantation radiation treatment, because a broad application was considered far too toxic," said Dr. Lee. "Using Novalis Radiosurgery we can deliver very high doses of radiation to precise locations in the liver, minimizing liver toxicity and controlling tumor growth. By minimizing toxicity, patients are able to maintain their health and are more likely to be considered candidates for liver transplantation."

Dr. Lee's treatment protocol, which also incorporates chemotherapy, has shown to not only control tumors in the liver, but to also reduce complications once the liver transplantation has occurred.

"More than 4,000 liver transplants are conducted in the United States each year, and UCLA's liver transplant program has grown to become one of the most active in the world. When an effective treatment protocol such as this is introduced into an environment such as UCLA and shared with clinicians around the world through the Novalis Circle, there is an immediate impact felt across the medical community," said Dr. Lee.

"While future advancements in health care will continue to rely heavily upon technology, clinicians around the world are recognizing the value that clinical networks such as the Novalis Circle provide. Through active engagement in the Novalis Circle, clinicians have an opportunity to leverage the knowledge and experience of hundreds of physicians around the world. With this collaboration, clinicians and the health care institutions they represent can ensure that they are leveraging established best practices to maximize positive patient outcomes," said Dr. Benzil.    

Disclaimer: The results discussed herein are a result of independent studies. Brainlab did not participate in these studies and had no impact on or control over the results.

About Novalis Circle

The Novalis Circle is a worldwide network of clinicians dedicated to the advancement of radiosurgery. The International Conferences of the Novalis Circle are designed to encourage collaboration and knowledge exchange between Novalis® Radiosurgery users on cutting edge developments in radiosurgery. Novalis Circle members and guest experts present their findings from clinical studies on relevant topics in radiosurgery. The Novalis Circle was created by Brainlab and the Conference is held every two years.

About Brainlab

Brainlab develops, manufactures and markets software-driven medical technology that supports targeted, less-invasive treatment. Core products are image-guided systems and software that provide real-time information used for surgical navigation and radiosurgical planning and delivery.

Brainlab technology drives collaboration between hospitals and clinicians from a wide variety of subspecialties—from neurosurgery and oncology to orthopedics, ENT, CMF and spine & trauma. This integration delivers better access to improved and more efficient treatment.

Founded in 1989, the privately held Brainlab group has 4,880 systems installed in over 80 countries. Based in Munich, Germany, Brainlab employs 940 people in 16 offices worldwide.

To learn more, visit

SOURCE Brainlab
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