The Calypso system pinpoints prostate cells, leading to more effective treatments
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 16, 2011
Physician John Lederer is now able to treat prostate cancer with much greater precision with the help of a new tool nicknamed GPS for the Body.
The radiation oncologist at the Cancer Center of Hawaii said the success of the latest radiation therapy will lead to its use in treating other cancers.
For the past 15 months, Lederer has been using the Calypso 4D Localization System.
Lederer has used Calypso on more than 80 patients, delivering focused doses of radiation to prostate cancer cells with more precision.
PROSTATE CANCER» An man in America has a 1-in-6 chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
» The disease killed an estimated 27,360 American men in 2009.
» It is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in men, behind lung cancer. Colon cancer is third.
Source: American Cancer Society
"Calypso is very successful and more accurate than the current available methods," he said. "The patient experience has been positive. Now they know that they don't have to travel out of state to get the best treatment available."
Since cancer cells are not in the same place every day, standard radiation treatment requires doctors to include a margin of healthy tissue around the cancer within the radiation field. The result is that the bladder, rectum and other healthy tissue can be affected by the radiation.
"By using (Calypso) we’ve found that the potential for damage is less. We’re able to treat less normal tissue,” Lederer said.
Lorraine Marshall Wright, vice president and chief marketing officer at Calypso Medical Technologies Inc., explained, "With the Calypso system knowing the exact location of the target in real time, clinicians can confidently treat patients with higher doses of radiation and smaller treatment margins."
Three beacon electromagnetic transponders are implanted into the prostate area. They are able to sense the exact position of the cancer cells.
"This allows the therapist to adjust the patient if the tumor target moves out of range, enabling the delivery of accurate radiation therapy while avoiding radiation delivery and damage to surrounding tissues and organs," Wright said in a written statement.
Lederer is the only radiation oncologist in Hawaii now using Calypso but is confident other physicians will begin using the new technology.
Within the next year, he said, it's feasible to see this system being used to treat patients with pancreatic or lung cancers.