This first-in-the-world procedure was in Michigan. Did you know people travel from all over the world to have cancer care in the U.S.A.? Yep. We may not offer all treatments types, which is why overseas hospitals may be what you want to look for on MediBid.com, but we absolutely have some of the greatest cancer treatment centers and physicians in the world!!
From the Daily Tribune:
A doctor at Beaumont Hospital performed the first-in-the-world, single-dose radiation treatment on a prostate cancer patient.
The procedure, called high-dose rate brachytherapy, involves the temporary implantation of a “smart seed” — a radioactive pellet about the size of grain of rice — at the prostate tumor site to increase cancer killing probability while minimizing radiation exposure to surrounding tissues, such as the bladder.
Alvaro Martinez, M.D., performed the procedure Nov. 29 on a Beverly Hills man.
“In the future of cancer care, less is more,” said Martinez, who with other radiation oncologists has launched a research study to treat men with low to intermediate risk prostate cancer with a single dose of radiation.
“Patients want treatments that are safe, effective and fast with a high chance of a cure, thus allowing them to move on with their lives as soon as possible,” Martinez said. “Through our research, we are hoping to develop treatments that achieve these goals for patients.”
Unlike permanent radioactive seed implants, no radioactive material is left in the patient’s body, eliminating the risk of radiation exposure for partners or family members.
The entire procedure to temporarily implant the seed takes about three hours, once spinal anesthesia has been administered. Plastic needles are placed into the prostate using ultrasound guidance. The needles are then loaded with a single radiation seed through a cable attached to a computerized machine that moves the “smart seed” at precisely timed intervals along the needles. Treatment with the “smart seeds” takes about 15 minutes.
Low and intermediate risk patients who qualify for study participation include those with T1c through T2b tumors (small size with no metastasis or lymph node involvement), a Gleason score of 6 or 7 (low-intermediate cell aggressiveness) and a prostate-specific antigen score lower than 15.
The study, approved by Beaumont’s Human Investigation Committee, builds upon 18 years of past research by Martinez and other Beaumont radiation oncologists on ways to kill cancer cells through powerful, targeted, short-term radiation treatment.In 1992, Martinez and his Beaumont colleagues were the first in the U.S. to perform HDR brachytherapy as an outpatient treatment for patients with locally advanced prostate cancer. In 1995, he developed a four-treatment protocol over two days for patients with low to intermediate risk prostate cancer. A total of 1,045 patients with high, intermediate or low risk prostate cancer have been treated through HDR brachytherapy research at Beaumont since 1992. Study results have been published in numerous peer-reviewed cancer journals.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men in the U.S. The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 32,050 prostate cancer deaths and 217,730 new cases in 2010 nationwide.
Current methods for treating prostate cancer confined to the prostate gland include surgical removal of the prostate (radical prostatectomy); up to eight weeks of external beam radiation alone or combined with permanent seed implants or HDR brachytherapy; or permanent seed implants and/or HDR brachytherapy. The methods are about equal in effectiveness with different side effects.