Better Late Than Never: FDA approved more than 20 years ago and used to treat millions of patients worldwide, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)* has endorsed the use of Radiosurgery/CyberKnife for Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), in the United Kingdom.
The endorsement increases access to the CyberKnife system used worldwide to provide a high-precision radiosurgery treatment alternative to surgery for the management of this chronic and potentially debilitating neurologic condition, also known as the suicide disease.
Robotic Radiosurgery System Provides Effective, Non-invasive Treatment Option for this Chronic Pain Condition, Typically Delivered in Just One Out-Patient Procedure.
“CyberKnife radiosurgery enables our team to achieve pain control in almost 95% of patients within 2-4 weeks and long-term healing in 75% of trigeminal neuralgia cases, enabling most patients to resume activities of importance to them. In our 15 years long-term experience, we have established precise treatment parameters that allow us to limit the risk of complications to a very low level and to date, no major issues have been reported,” said Alfredo Conti, associate professor of neurosurgery at Alma Mater Bologna University in Bologna, Italy.
Associate professor Conti continued, “The treatment is delivered in a 30 minute out-patient procedure and imaging is obtained days before so the treatment can be planned in a way that is comfortable for both the patient and physicians. The absence of rigid head fixation, the out-patient modality and the treatment delivery speed makes CyberKnife radiosurgery particularly well tolerated and, as a matter of fact, the less invasive non-pharmacological option for trigeminal neuralgia at our hospital.”
Precise Treatment Options are Needed:
TN affects the trigeminal nerve that carries sensation from the face to the brain. Patients can experience excruciating pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve are distributed such as the upper and lower jaws, teeth and cheek. TN occurs most frequently in people over age 50 and is more common in women than in men.
Frequently described as electric shock-like facial pain or a sharp shooting pain, trigeminal neuralgia occurs in unpredictable attacks that may last from a few seconds to approximately two minutes.
According to the National Health Service (NHS) UK, “people with the condition may experience attacks of pain regularly for days, weeks or months at a time. In severe cases, attacks may happen hundreds of times a day.”
Treatment of TN usually begins with medication to block the pain signals sent to the brain. Over time, some medications become less effective, and certain patients experience unpleasant side effects. Alternative treatments, such as injections, surgery or radiosurgery, may be required for these patients.
“Trigeminal neuralgia has the potential to significantly impact a person’s quality of life if not appropriately managed, resulting in issues ranging from weight loss to isolation and depression. I’m honored to share this positive CyberKnife System news and to lead an organization whose radiosurgery device can make such a meaningful difference in the lives of these patients,” said Suzanne Winter, president of Accuray, the maufacturer of CyberKnife technology.
The CyberKnife® System was designed to treat diseases in the head and base of the skull, and functional disorders, with radiosurgery – and without the use of a fixed frame bolted to the patient’s head. Since its introduction it has evolved into a full-body radiosurgery system that enables consistent delivery of accurate, sub-millimeter, (ultra) hypofractionated treatments to tumors throughout the body, including those in the kidney, liver, lung, prostate and spine.
Using advanced imaging and Accuray-exclusive Synchrony® real-time target tracking with dynamic delivery technology, the CyberKnife System can see the tumor or lesion and continually verify its position, automatically correcting and adapting the radiation beam position for even the slightest movement. Synchrony uses advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive dynamic delivery accounting for both patient and tumor motion, with uninterrupted treatment delivery and maximum patient comfort.
The system features a linear accelerator (linac) directly mounted on a robot that moves and bends around the patient to deliver non-isocentric, non-coplanar radiation beams from potentially thousands of unique angles, facilitating highly precise and accurate treatments.
Trigeminal Neuralgia is one of the conditions we treat most often at the CyberKnife Center of Miami. Call us to find out if we can help you or a loved one at 305-279-2900, and go to our website link to find out more about how we treat Trigeminal Neuralgia with CyberKnife technology.