"Hope is being given to patients with malignant and ultimately fatal spinal tumors where hope was never before available," said Dr. Isabelle Germano, Professor of Neurosurgery and Co-Director of The Radiosurgery Program at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. "All it takes is one thirty-minute out-patient treatment of pinpointed radiation and the tumor shrinks along with the pain from the cancer. Now cancer spreading to the spine doesn't mean a lifetime of pain or a wheelchair for a patient anymore."

Extremely precise, highly focused radiation is beamed directly into the spinal tumor, while sparing the normal surrounding tissue. Mount Sinai has had the Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery System technology since 2005. It is routinely used on the brain, head, neck, prostate and other tumors in the body with success. It is a friendly outpatient, non-invasive and non-surgical incisionless procedure. Patient risk is lowered, outcomes are improved, quality of life for patients enhanced, cancer pain eliminated, and the tumor is destroyed. Patients can continue to live a pain-free life and maintain complete mobility.

"The future of radiation oncology and stopping cancer in its track is now at Mount Sinai. This is the best treatment available for tumors that have spread to the spine with the least risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissue," said Dr. Sheryl Green, Co-Director of The Radiosurgery Program and Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at Mount Sinai. "We are now able to treat metastatic cancer that has spread to the spine, increasing the patients' quality of life, keeping them functional and pain free for a longer amount of time with this new technology. The biggest benefit of Novalis is that it's the most conformal type of tumor treatment available at the present time."

The state of the art 3-D imaging guided SRS system called Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery System works by concentrating the energy of many different beams of radiation on a single site. None of the beams individually, is strong enough to harm the healthy tissue is passes through, but at the point where the beams converge- the site of tumor- their combined power can destroy the abnormal cells and interfere with their ability to multiply, thus shrinking and controlling the growth of cancer. SRS matches the shape of the beam to the size of the tumor no matter where it is, delivering radiation with more precision than any other system.

Source: Mount Sinai School of Medicine