[ RadSafe ] Radiotherapies, Formerly Spent Reactor Fuel

Chris Alston achris1999 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 8 13:08:52 CDT 2012


The GammaKnife is certainly an interesting device, but if you really
want to excite your neurons, I recommend that you check out the
CyberKnife (CK).  It is the difference between a 20th Century
technology and one that is fully of the 21st.  Basically, the CK is a
miniature, nominal 6 MV linac, mounted on a robotic arm with six
degrees of freedom to move, and image-guided in real-time, with which
one can do stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) anywhere in the body.

More generally, I personally do not see that proton therapy (tx) makes
sense financially, for tumors like early stage prostate Ca.  (Myself,
I would have a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, with robotic
assistance, rather any sort of radiotherapy, for early stage, i.e.,
confined to the prostate, disease.  But that is a sidebar.)  Even the
least expensive medical proton linacs are looking to cost 25 - 30
megabucks US, the last I heard.  One could install 8 or 10
state-of-the-art photon/electron accelerators, or even a few
CyberKnifes, for that price.

Just so you, as an obviously thoughtful and concerned citizen, know,
there are currently strong controversies in medicine, and particularly
in radiation oncology, about the economic advisability, and proper
medical utility, or applicability, of many of these "new"
technologies.  In the case of tx with protons, there will be great
intramural pressure on cancer centers of any size to acquire one, or
risk losing pts to centers which can advertise one.  I don't want to
get on a rant here, but, as a tax-paying citizen, and looking at the
huge increases in the costs of medical care, over and above those
which can be directly attributed to our aging, overweight population
(in the USA), and the scary state of our national debt (in the USA),
we simply must start trying to take very hard looks at the
cost/benefit ratios of medical technology.  Please note, I include
pharmaceuticals in the latter term.

I apologize, in advance, to the moderator, if this note is too far off-topic.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:  <JPreisig at aol.com>
Date: Sun, Oct 7, 2012 at 3:35 PM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Spent reactor fuel
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu

    Thanks to Sergio and Roy Herren for their recent radsafe  posts.  Gamma
Knife technology
is so very interesting.  Read about it on Wikipedia or on the  internet.

    Regards,     Joe Preisig

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