New Cancer Treatment with Millimeter Precision Available for Patients at SingHealth Institutions
Novalis radiosurgery system offers faster treatment with possibly shorter hospital stay
Singapore, June 2007 – Singapore Health Services (SingHealth), the largest healthcare group in Singapore, is expanding its modern cancer treatment facilities. With Novalisâ Shaped Beam Surgery, an integrated radiotherapy/radiosurgery system by the German medical technology company BrainLAB AG, tumors of brain and body as well as other lesions can be treated with high precision, reducing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The system forms part of the world’s first state- of-the-art digitally-integrated neuroscience centre located at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) – a project announced in October 2006.
Funded largely by a generous donation from the Estate of the late Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat, the facility will be named Khoo Teck Puat Neuro Navigation Integrated Operating Suites (KTP-NNI-OS). As part of the KTP-NNI-OS, the Novalis system will enhance the combination of different treatment options such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy available to patients at the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), National Cancer Centre (NCCS) and Singapore General Hospital (SGH) - all members of the SingHealth group of healthcare institutions.
Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery is an integrated stereotactic treatment system that shapes beams of focused high-energy radiation from different angles to deliver precise treatments that are designed to shrink or control the growth of a tumor, by killing cancer cells or interfering with their ability to grow. With Novalis, tumors of the brain and other parts of the body such as the head and neck, spine, lung, liver and prostate can be treated with millimeter precision while harm to surrounding tissue is significantly reduced. The precision of the beams allows for the administration of higher radiation doses. Thereby, the number of treatments can be reduced and the clinical results can be improved. Patients who undergo this treatment will benefit from frameless therapy, often allowing them to return home the same day. The procedure lasts 15 minutes on average. Due to faster treatment times, it is anticipated that more patients can be treated with this system.
Novalis will form part of the "Intelligent Treatment Framework" by BrainLAB, which will integrate proven individual technologies in a unique framework within SGH. For the first time, a comprehensive range of the latest BrainLAB technologies in healthcare will be available in one location, digitally integrated to provide clinicians with effective access and intelligent management of digital medical information. From diagnostics through treatment, this new infrastructure will provide clinicians with timely information and more treatment options, resulting in better-informed medical decisions, and the ability to seamlessly combine multiple treatment options. The five-suite facility at SGH will set a new standard for the comprehensive approach to cancer care as well as neurosurgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose & throat) and orthopedic surgery in terms of clinical results and overall cost effectiveness.
"The addition of Novalis will allow us to treat many more patients with stereotactic radiosurgery. It can be used to treat tumors that are inoperable or in instances where open surgery offers too high a risk. The shaped beam technology helps to achieve maximum tumour cell death with minimal side effects, and healthy tissue surrounding the tumor is prevented from damage to a very large extent" explained Associate Professor Ivan Ng, Head and Senior Consultant, Departments of Neurosurgery at SGH & NNI.
We at NCCS are constantly on the look out to ensure that our patients are given the best available treatment for their illness. This facility is one of the suite of services that we are able to offer our patients in our holistic approach towards cancer treatment.", explained Dr. Chua Eu Tiong, Deputy Head & Senior Consultant at NCCS’ department of Radiation Oncology. "The dedicated facility brings together multidisciplinary specialists including radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, radiologists to optimise treatment outcomes for the patients."
"The installation of Novalis is the first step in the adoption of the fully digital Intelligent Treatment Framework", comments Stefan Vilsmeier, founder and CEO of BrainLAB. "SGH will not only be the first facility in the world to showcase this integrated concept, but also leverage existing cancer treatment options available for patients at SingHealth institutions".
According to the Ministry of Health Singapore, cancer is the leading cause of death in Singapore that accounts for almost 30% of all deaths, with close to 8,000 Singapore residents being diagnosed with cancer each year.