CyberKnife Offers Equal Success Rates, Shorter Treatment Times Compared to IMRT - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on May 09, 2016

CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery Offers Equal Success Rates, Shorter Treatment Times Compared to Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

Crozer-Keystone Health SystemMedia Contact:
Aubrey Proud
(610) 447-6171

Rachelle Lanciano, M.D., chair of radiation oncology at Delaware County Memorial Hospital (DCMH), led the study.

Rachelle Lanciano, M.D., chair of radiation
oncology at Delaware County Memorial
Hospital (DCMH), led the study.

A new study has found that the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is able to offer prostate cancer patients success rates equal to intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), with shorter treatment duration and lower total cost. A team of Crozer-Keystone oncology specialists based out of Delaware County Memorial Hospital conducted the five-year study, and their findings were published in the February edition of the Journal of Radiation Oncology.

“We conducted this study over the course of five years, offering both therapies to prostate cancer patients in the region,” said Rachelle Lanciano, M.D., chair of radiation oncology at Delaware County Memorial Hospital (DCMH), who led the study. “Comparing IMRT and the stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) used by the CyberKnife system, we found no difference for toxicity and effectiveness, across all risk factors and demographics.”

IMRT and SBRT both use precision focused radiation to treat cancerous tissue and minimize the effect to healthy tissue. While the study focused on treatment of prostate cancer, IMRT and SBRT are used to treat tumors anywhere in the body.

SBRT in this study was delivered by the CyberKnife System, which uses a miniature linear accelerator on the end of a robotic arm that moves around the patient’s body delivering hundreds of high dose beamlets of radiation directly to the tumor. SBRT requires image guidance throughout the treatment and for prostate cancer is completed in five sessions.

IMRT delivers focused radiation to the tumor by modulating the beam intensity at each treatment position with the use of a stationary high-energy linear accelerator. IMRT requires daily image guidance and is usually delivered five days a week for eight weeks.

With statistician and co-author, Alexandra Hanlon, Ph.D., the research team used propensity score matching to provide the most accurate analysis possible of patient data across a variety of disparate populations. The study gives in-depth analysis of the efficacy of both treatments across all demographic groups and risk factors, taking into account patient prostate-specific antigen (PSA), Gleason Score and cancer staging.

Lanciano and her colleagues are continuing to collect data in order to expand the study through multiple populations over the course of ten years, thus achieving the gold standard in medical research reporting for prostate cancer. In addition to the patients treated through DCMH and Philadelphia CyberKnife, she received a grant to study various forms of radiation treatment for prostate cancer in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons’ National Cancer Database, a large database that includes 70 percent of all cancer patients in the country. This provides Dr. Lanciano’s team access to 2.1 million prostate cancer patients for propensity score matching of various radiation treatment options as part of the ongoing ten-year study.

The paper, titled “Propensity score matched comparison of SBRT versus IMRT for the treatment of localized prostate cancer,” was authored by Dr. Lanciano and her research colleagues, Caspian Oliai, Matthew Bernetich, Luther Brady, Jun Yang, Alexandra Hanlon, John Lamond, Steven Arrigo, Michael Good, Michael Mooreville and Bruce Garber.

Lanciano sees patients at Philadelphia CyberKnife and the Crozer-Keystone Regional Cancer Center at Broomall, which opened April 11, 2016.

For more information about the Crozer-Keystone Regional Cancer Center at Broomall, or to schedule an appointment, visit

For the full text of the article from the Journal of Radiation Oncology, please click here.

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