Swedish News Blog

Noninvasive Prostate Cancer Treatment Data is Maturing & Promising

Robert M. Meier, MD

Robert M. Meier, MD
Radiation Oncology Medical Director, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

Many of my patients are men seeking prostate cancer treatment they can undergo while continuing work and maintaining active lifestyles. Equally important is the cancer-free survival rate and long-term side effect profile. For over seven years we have been treating men with organ-confined prostate cancer using the CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery system. This sophisticated radiation delivery system uses a robotic arm to deliver precise treatment doses to the prostate in only 5 sessions so the men can keep up their normal routine while combatting their disease.

The data supporting this treatment option continues to grow and a recent study following men for 6 years reports patients had excellent biochemical control rates (based on...

International visitors to the Radiosurgery Center

Erin Kieper

Erin Kieper
Program Development Manager, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

The Swedish Radiosurgery Center was a featured stop for the nursing students from Kobe City College of Nursing during their recent visit to Seattle. The students toured the center where they learned about our CyberKnife and Gamma Knife programs.

I was very impressed that the patient care is personalized to respect the needs of every individual. I have a lot of respect for staff who sincerely work with patients regardless of their background and circumstances. We learned the importance of having confidence in our field as medical professionals and the great privilege of serving ones in need.”

- Keiko Kikuchi, RN, PHN, Assistant Professor, Kobe City College of Nursing.

The group learned ...

Non-invasive advances for treating early stage non small cell lung cancer

Vivek K. Mehta, MD

Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy is a new term that has been coined to describe the delivery of very high doses of radiation delivered over a handful of treatment sessions. This precise method targets small tumors located in the lung. This new treatment has been pioneered and studied extensively in patients who are not suitable candidates for an operation but have been diagnosed with early stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

The advantages of this approach are that the treatment can be completed in 1-2 weeks (including the planning time), and only requires 3-5 treatments. The treatment requires highly specialized planning and preparation and is delivered using state of the art linear accelerators like the CyberKnife®. Our team has been offering stereotactic ablative radiotherapy for over 4 years.

The results are outstanding for this population of patients. A number of studies have demonstrated that the local tumor control rates exceed ...

What should I know about radiation if I have breast cancer?

Astrid D. Morris, MD

Astrid D. Morris, MD
Radiation Oncologist

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may wonder if radiation is an option for you.

Radiation is an important pillar of treatment for breast cancer and has never been safer when designed by an experienced team with state of the art technology. Radiation will be part of a standard treatment plan after breast conserving surgery (also called lumpectomy or partial mastectomy). With the addition of radiation to the breast as an insurance policy, patients will do just as well as those undergoing mastectomy. Even after a mastectomy there are indications when radiation to the chest wall and nodes are recommended for best outcome. After a lumpectomy, radiation to the whole breast is the current gold standard.

How does radiation actually work?

Radiation works by aiming it at a target. Free radicals are produced which kill cancer cells, while normal cells have the capability to repair the damage. Cancer cells don’t.

Having the most advanced technology available to precisely plan and deliver radiation to the target will protect healthy tissue for optimal outcomes and the best possible cosmetic result.

How can I make sure I receive the best radiation?

The radiation oncologists treating you should be part of an interdisciplinary team. I, for example, work closely with the patient, the breast surgeons and the medical oncologists. I then design a personalized radiation plan, tailored to the unique characteristics of the tumor and each patient’s personal preferences. The more personalized the treatment the better.

To allow patients to feel their best during and after treatment, I often work with physical therapists, naturopaths, and other support staff (social worker, dietitian etc).

What type of radiation treatment do I need?

Radiation options after a breast conserving surgery can be very confusing. Here is a list that may help you understand the different options:

You've been diagnosed with prostate cancer - now what?

Robert M. Meier, MD

Robert M. Meier, MD
Radiation Oncology Medical Director, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

Almost daily there are new recommendations for how to treat prostate cancer and an equal number of controversies surrounding the recommendations. What is a man to do when faced with the words, “you have prostate cancer”?

The good news is that there are many proven options to consider; but how do you choose the best one for you? The decision can be daunting and the controversies swirling in the news only increase the confusion when wading through the information. You may be considering:

  • Active surveillance (watchful waiting) is an option for those who want to closely monitor their cancer over short intervals. Intervention is considered if the cancer grows quickly, PSA scores increase or other situations arise warranting a more aggressive treatment plan.

  • Surgical options are available and with the advances in robotic technologies, the procedure is less invasive than in the past, recovery times are reduced and fewer side effects are reported. 

  • Radiation options are also available and treat the cancer either with external radiation beams or implanted radioactive seeds.

    • CyberKnife Radiosurgery uses robotic technology to track the prostate in real time and delivers high doses of radiation with pinpoint accuracy. This is an outpatient procedure where the patient comes to the center for five, one hour sessions over the course of one week. Long term side effects are rare and cancer free survival rates are excellent. (You can learn more here.)

    • Seed Implantation is another method of delivering radiation to treat prostate cancer. With this option, the radiation is delivered internally via tiny radioactive seeds which are implanted into the prostate. This too is an outpatient procedure and long term results are excellent and side effects are few. 

As a radiation oncologist specializing in treating prostate cancer...

Radio-What? Radiosurgery is a treatment that sounds like surgery but isn’t.

Erin Kieper

Erin Kieper
Program Development Manager, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

If you have never heard the term radiosurgery, you are in good company. This sci-fi sounding word may conjure images from Star Trek but radiosurgery is anything but fiction.

Radiosurgery uses multiple beams of radiation from a variety of directions to destroy diseased or damaged tissue. Although the name sounds like a surgical procedure, this is a non-invasive way to treat many different conditions. The CyberKnife and Gamma Knife technologies are very precise and avoid injury to surrounding, normal tissue and the course of treatment lasts from a single session to less than 2 weeks...

Swedish Opens Cerebrovascular Center on Cherry Hill Campus

Swedish News

SEATTLE, Feb. 7, 2012 – Since diagnosing and managing cerebrovascular disorders can require a complex assortment of specialty evaluations and testing, Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) recently opened a new Cerebrovascular Center on the first floor of James Tower at the Cherry Hill campus (550 17th Ave., Suite 110, Seattle).

SNI used patient-focused convenience as the foundation for designing the new facility, which opened Dec. 19, 2011.

“In this one location, SNI has consolidated its existing advanced diagnostics and interventional therapeutics, as well as the newest generation of technology,” said David Newell, M.D., cerebrovascular neurosurgeon and chief of Neuroscience. “The center also features the expertise of a care team that includes cerebrovascular neurosurgeons, vascular neurologists, neuroendovascular and radiosurgical specialists, neuroradiologists, neurohospitalists, and advanced practitioners who are trained to evaluate and treat cerebrovascular disorders.”

The facility also includes a Stroke Clinic.

A comprehensive menu of procedures

In addition to advanced diagnostics, the center offers ...

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