Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surgeons use cyberknife to treat vocal cord cancer

Date:
April 3, 2014
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Stephen Wiley, a lifelong cowboy from Terrell, has helped pioneer a new treatment for vocal cord cancer. Doctors found tumors in both his vocal cords. The $7 million Cyberknife, has a small linear particle accelerator and a robotic arm that allows it to treat tumors on any part of the body with radiation, explained his surgeon. Only about 200 of these cutting-edge machines exist in the world, most of them in the United States.

Dr. Susie Chen, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology (left), oversaw CyberKnife treatments for patient Stephen Wiley.
Credit: UT Southwestern Medical Center

Stephen Wiley, a lifelong cowboy from Terrell, has helped UT Southwestern Medical Center pioneer a new treatment for vocal cord cancer. Mr. Wiley volunteered to be the world's first known patient to be treated for vocal cord cancer with Cyberknife, a surgeon-controlled robotic device that destroys tumors with highly precise doses of radiation.

Mr. Wiley, a yard driver for a manufacturing company who also raises horses on his own time, said he started waking up in the morning with a hoarse voice and thought it was nothing more than aging. It got continually worse, until one day he was reduced to a whisper.

"We have to talk on the radio constantly and whenever my voice went away, it was a safety issue," said Mr. Wiley, 59.

Doctors found tumors in both his vocal cords, and referred him to UT Southwestern, where he met with Dr. Larry Myers, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

"Dr. Myers said, 'Well, we've been looking for someone like yourself for a research project that's never been done before.' I said, 'Heck, if it works and it's going to help other people, I'm willing to go for it,' " Mr. Wiley recalled. "It has worked out great. People here at work say, 'Your voice is back to normal.'"

Six doctors had to unanimously agree that Mr. Wiley was a good candidate for the procedure, which he said gave him confidence that the Cyberknife trial was right for him. The $7 million Cyberknife, built by the California-based company Accuray, has a small linear particle accelerator and a robotic arm that allows it to treat tumors on any part of the body with radiation, explained his surgeon, Dr. Baran Sumer, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery. There are no records from the maker or in medical literature of the robotic device previously being used to treat vocal cord cancer.

UT Southwestern doctors' success with treating Mr. Wiley yielded important information that UT Southwestern physicians are already using to make treatment shorter for other people with vocal cord tumors, said Dr. Sumer, also a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in North Texas.

Only about 200 of these cutting-edge machines exist in the world, most of them in the United States. Dr. Susie Chen, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, oversaw Mr. Wiley's treatments and said the unique resources, expertise, and collaborative atmosphere at UT Southwestern aligned perfectly to break new ground in cancer treatment and find the right solution for Mr. Wiley.

"We're in a very unique situation at UT Southwestern where we have the tools to do it. It takes a lot of collaboration between the surgeons and the radiation doctors to actually get that done. The technology just hasn't been there until recently," she said.

Patients must be as still as possible for the Cyberknife treatment to be precise, but vocal cords move when people breathe and swallow, presenting a challenge in using the precision robot. Dr. Sumer injected tiny bits of gold into Mr. Wiley's neck for the Cyberknife to track so the robotic arm could adjust to even the slightest movements. Mr. Wiley's head also was covered with a mesh mask that held him snug and still.

"With the Cyberknife, it's real time. When something moves, it's actually moving. We adjust to the movement," Dr. Chen said. "The whole time you're getting treated, there are little x-rays that are being done that allow the machine to lock on to these little gold markers that are placed near the vocal cords. It's just like you're a fighter pilot, and you lock on to a target."

Mr. Wiley completed his 15 treatments at St. Paul University Hospital. "With the Cyberknife, I never lost my voice and never lost any weight. It's great and I feel great," he said.

Three other UT Southwestern patients have since had Cyberknife treatment on vocal cord tumors, and Dr. Chen said they have been able to reduce the number of treatments each time as more is learned about the Cyberknife's effectiveness on vocal cord tumors.

"What we've done is taken a treatment that takes five and a half weeks, and we're decreasing it," Dr. Chen said. "The true goal of this study is to maintain excellent cure rates while decreasing the time of radiation and side effects. That's the biggest thing -- ease for the patient."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Surgeons use cyberknife to treat vocal cord cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140403131946.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2014, April 3). Surgeons use cyberknife to treat vocal cord cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140403131946.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Surgeons use cyberknife to treat vocal cord cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140403131946.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins