St. Louis CyberKnife Completes First Year at SSM Cancer Care

St. Louis CyberKnife has treated nearly 100 patients in its first year of operations. The Fenton-based cancer treatment center opened in October 2012 as a service of SSM Cancer Care at St. Clare Health Center to offer stereotactic radiosurgery, a noninvasive form of cancer treatment.

St. Louis CyberKnife treats benign and malignant tumors throughout the body using CyberKnife® technology. During treatment, precisely focused beams of radiation are delivered to the tumor from a variety of angles without incisions or sedation. As a nonsurgical method, the treatment is an important option for patients unwilling or unable to undergo surgery.

For patient John Fleming, St. Louis CyberKnife was one of few treatment options after his colon cancer metastasized to his liver. Fleming had recently recovered from colon cancer surgery and wanted to avoid a second major procedure.

“I had a lot of trouble recovering from surgery and I was looking for something noninvasive,” he said. “With CyberKnife I was able to receive treatment easily and had needed recovery time.”

Like the majority of patients who undergo CyberKnife treatment, Fleming returned to his daily routine immediately. St. Louis CyberKnife treats patients within five treatment sessions, each lasting approximately one hour. Patient Earl Fritz was looking for the same convenience when he sought treatment at the center for prostate cancer.

“My urologist initially recommended surgery, but I wanted to avoid the long recovery period and researched other treatment options,” Fritz said. “When I found St. Louis CyberKnife I immediately knew it was the right treatment for me. “

Fritz was successfully treated for prostate cancer in five treatments. St. Louis CyberKnife/SSM Cancer Care radiation oncologist Dr. John Bedwinek treated Fritz and said many patients, like Fritz, are drawn to the convenience of treatment and fewer side effects CyberKnife offers.

“In the last year we’ve been fortunate to offer this type of technology to our patients and give them an option that will have less impact on their quality of life,” Dr. Bedwinek said. “We work with cancer care specialists – across metropolitan St. Louis to ensure patients are offered the absolute best treatment plan for their individual diagnosis.”