Cy­berKnife ra­di­a­tion

Los Angeles Times - - THE PETS ISSUE -

Be­cause ra­di­a­tion doesn’t dis­tin­guish be­tween can­cer­ous cells and nor­mal cells, there is typ­i­cally a limit to how much can be used with­out dam­ag­ing healthy body tis­sues. Cy­berKnife is a sys­tem of ro­botic ra­dio­surgery that de­liv­ers ra­di­a­tion so pre­cisely that pa­tients can tol­er­ate a much higher dose with few side ef­fects. While the ma­chine takes con­tin­u­ous Xrays of a pa­tient, a ro­botic arm de­liv­ers beam­lets of ra­di­a­tion from 140 an­gles, all of which con­verge on the tu­mor with an ac­cu­racy of less than 1 mil­lime­ter. Be­cause it is so pre­cise, the vet­eri­nar­ian must know ex­actly where the tu­mor is lo­cated, says Proulx, who is one of only a hand­ful of vet­eri­nar­i­ans in the world who are us­ing Cy­berKnife in pets. “Not all pets and tu­mors are can­di­dates, but we’ve cer­tainly seen that in dogs with brain tu­mors we’ve been able to dou­ble the sur­vival time.” The pro­ce­dure costs ap­prox­i­mately $12,000.

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