Early stage of cancer curable though Robotic Radio-surgery ‘Cyberknife’
KARACHI: Project Director CyberKnife Unit, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC), Prof Tariq Mehmood, on Saturday informed that the early stage of cancer is curable though latest Robotic Radio-surgery Cyberknife and treatment of cancer is available in Karachi.
Tariq, also the Head of Radiology Department, JPMC told PPI that ‘cyber’ and ‘knife’ words tell this treatment is a computerised surgery. He that the robot could cure early stage of brain, head and neck, spine, prostate, lungs cancers etc by one to five sessions of two-hour radio-surgery by Cyberknife.
He said it is also used for curative treatment for many non-cancerous conditions like trigeminal neuralgia, arteriovenous malformations, and functional disorders.
He explained that Cyberknife treatment is cutting-edge technology, as treatment is precise, painless and non-invasive (no injections/anesthesia is require). He said it is a day care procedure without any significant side-effects and patient can go back to work next day.
He said system was brought to Pakistan for the first time in December 2012, and has been treating up to four to six patients per day at JPMC’s CyberKnife unit.
He informed Patients Aid Foundation (PAF) had arranged Pakistan’s first whole body Robotic Radio-surgery Cyberknife through donations worth USD 4.1 million (approximately Rs 400 millions). Renowned social worker and philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi also contributed in this regard, he added.
He further informed that 250 Cyberknife are installed around the world. The per-patient cost of treatment in Europe/USA varies from USD 50,000 to 90,000.
He said PAF-JPMC is the world’s first NGO offering free Cyberknife treatment irrespective of nationality, religion, and ethnicity. He said patients are coming for treatment all over country and also abroad including Bahrian, Abu-Dhabi, Sharjah, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, Russia and Afghanistan.
He said in last 10 months we have completed more than 627 sessions of radio-surgery and successfully treated cases of brain, head, neck and spinal tumors including acoustic neuromas, arteriovenous, malformations, pituitary adenomas, meningiomas, schawanomas, galiomas, neurofibromas, astrocytomas, GBM, brain metastasis, giant cell tumor, chordoma, nerve sheath tumor, haemangioblastoma, post surgical chondrosarcoma, glomus jugulare etc.
He said the case of a patient opting for CyberKnife treatment is discussed by a radiologist, radiationoncologist, physicist and radiation therapist. He said early stage tumors up to 3.0 cm are treated with single session and larger size (more than 3.0 cm) tumor require session e.g 7.0 cm tumor may require five sessions. He said treatment time is approximately 02 hours and USD 1000 is the expenditure on it if treated in single session.
He said that with the help of ongoing donations, about 1,000 patients can be treated every year. He said this has all been made possible by the charity of the PAF’s private donors and need donations worth $1 million every year to cover the cost of equipments and staff.
He said to successfully run this facility Cyberknife unit need commitment for 1,000 sessions from individuals, philanthropists, corporate, NGOs to pledge that they will help us in providing free cancer treatment for patients every year.