BRISTOL – Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center continues to be heralded as a national leader in the operation of the CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System, earning recognition at an upcoming symposium of the International Society for Optical Engineering.

Larry Thomson, a medical physicist who operates the CyberKnife at Wellmont Bristol Regional, will be acknowledged as a co-author of “Automated Skull Tracking for the CyberKnife Image-guided Radiosurgery System.” The technical paper will be presented at Medical Imaging 2005, to be held in San Diego in February, and published.

Thomson’s contribution to the paper centers on a series of simulations at Wellmont Bristol Regional that tested the targeting accuracy and quality-control mechanisms of the CyberKnife system. Thomson’s simulations were chosen for inclusion in the paper based on their thoroughness and results.

Wellmont Bristol Regional is one of just a handful of hospitals nationwide to offer the innovative CyberKnife, joining such institutions as Stanford University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital on the leading edge of medicine. Purchase of the CyberKnife was made possible, in part, by a donation from J.D. and Lorraine Nicewonder of Bristol.

The CyberKnife employs image-guided technology and features a lightweight linear accelerator attached to a robotic arm that generates up to 100 beams of radiation to attack diseased tissue.

Because the radiation is delivered with sub-millimeter accuracy, tumors and other abnormalities receive a concentrated dose of radiation, but the impact on surrounding normal tissue is minimized. The CyberKnife allows physicians to treat tumors throughout the body – including tumors that once would have been inoperable. Treatment is completely non-invasive, requires no anesthesia and is usually completed on an outpatient basis.


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