Monday, March 01, 2010 - CyberKnife – One Year Later

Deerfield Beach, FL – It’s a year since Broward County’s first and only CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System treated its first three patients. Broward Health North Broward Medical Center is proud to report that all three patients are seeing improvement, feeling great and living life to the fullest.

“Each CyberKnife case is unique in its own right so every patient is going to react differently and see different results,” said Dr. Anurag Agarwal, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology for Broward Health and leader of the CyberKnife team. “The significant progress our patients have seen since their treatment shows the variety of cancers that can be successfully treated with CyberKnife.”

MaryAnne Susin was treated with the CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System at North Broward Medical Center on December 17, 2008. Diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine tumor that originated in her pancreas and metastasized to her liver approximately five years ago, MaryAnne had several surgeries, chemotherapy and even radioisotope treatments overseas – all taking a heavy toll on her mental and physical health – before finding out about CyberKnife.

“CyberKnife allowed me to live again,” said MaryAnne. “I didn’t experience any side-effects and I even drove myself home from the hospital after my first treatment.”

Today, MaryAnne, along with Pete Delachapelle and Albert Bakelman are keeping busy traveling and visiting family. Pete was treated for lung cancer and recently attended his nephew’s wedding in Massachusetts where he was seen dancing all night.

Albert, who was treated for prostate cancer, just made a trip out to Las Vegas. “Thanks to CyberKnife, I’m living life with no boundaries,” he said. He is a tax accountant who enjoys every moment of life that he is given. When his urologist diagnosed him with cancer of the prostate and wanted to do surgery, he researched his options. Once he found out that North Broward Medical Center had the CyberKnife Robotic Sterotactic Radiosurgery System - he found his answer. He could have his prostate cancer treated in 5 short sessions! Al celebrated his one year recovery with a 2-week cruise to Aruba.

The CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery system – which delivers high doses of radiation to tumors with sub-millimeter accuracy – is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of tumors in the body, ideal for patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors. Through the use of image-guidance technology and intelligent robotics, CyberKnife® pinpoints the position of the tumor then delivers hundreds of tiny beams of radiation from various angles that converge at the tumor site. Any change in target position because of patient movement, such as respiration, is detected and automatically compensated for by the robotic system. Therefore, the tumor receives a concentrated dose of radiation while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. This outpatient procedure does not require anesthesia or invasive stabilizing frames. To date, more than 100 patients have been treated with the CyberKnife for cancers of the brain, lung, spine, tongue, pancreas, liver and prostate.

The Comprehensive Cancer Center at North Broward Medical Center features the latest cutting edge technology for early detection of all types of cancers, as well as some of the best treatment options and support programs available. Home to Broward County’s first and only CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System, as well as a Varian Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) system, North Broward Medical Center has assembled the most advanced Radiation Oncology equipment available. The Cancer Center team, consisting of radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, oncology nurses and counselors is dedicated to providing nationally recognized cancer care to the South Florida community.

Broward Health, providing service for more than 50 years, is a nationally recognized system offering world class health care services to our neighbors in South Florida. One of the 10 largest public health systems in the nation, Broward Health includes Broward General Medical Center, North Broward Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group. For more information visit