Dubai hospital introduces Cyberknife surgery to handle inoperable tumours

Dubai hospital introduces Cyberknife surgery to handle inoperable tumours

In early 2019, 24-year-old Farah Qureshi moved from India to the UAE to join as a customer service executive with an online food delivery app. Speaking with the media, Qureshi underlined that she had occasional headaches and fatigue. However, these minor health conditions turned out to be a brain tumour. As she visited a gynaeclogist for advise on certain hormonal issues she was experiencing, Qureshi was advised her to seek neurological consultation after reported numbness in her left leg.

After conducting a few diagnostic tests, it was revealed that she had a meningioma. Later, she underwent for a traditional surgery with the support of her family and workplace.

“It was mid-March and the neurosurgeons who opened my skull, soon realised that my tumour had many vital blood vessels involving my thalamus and brain stem tightly wound up around it. Operating on it could have meant losing vital functions such as my ability to walk!” the young girl said as she recounted.


Inoperable tumour

Qureshi had no idea what should be done as her tumour was growing gradually with every passing day. By mid-2021, her tumour had grown to 2.7mm.

Her health insurance provider conducted a thorough research on her medical condition, following which they guided her about the unique CyberKnife technology offered by Dubai’s Neuro Spinal Hospital. Qureshi went on to meet the hospital's medical team which included Dr Abdul Karim Msaddi, chief neurosurgeon and medical director; Dr Nandan Shanbag, clinical oncologist; and Dr Salam Yanek, radiation oncologist. After necessary consultation, the doctors decided to go ahead with a treatment to shrink the tumour non-invasively.


Cyberknife came to the rescue

In December 2021, 26-year-old Qureshi underwent a painless, bloodless, non-invasive surgery, which helped in irradiating the tumour with sharp precision while sparing the rest of the area of her brain around it.

She underlined while it is too early to get a clear picture, her tumour has stopped growing in the last three months. She added that she has returned to her normal work and feeling fine. Qureshi underwent three irradiation cycles which took place without anaesthesia or any pain.

“There was some brain swelling, which can be a likely side-effect of irradiation. In my case, it was expected and I was put on steroids. The swelling subsequently subsided. I underwent MRI scans three months after the surgery. My tumour was expected to shrink in three months’ time," she added.

As of now, the young executive noted that she is being very cautious and feeling no complication in her condition. The brave young patient has now resumed normal working life.

Since the introduction of CyberKnife in 2021, the hospital has successfully treated ten patients and they are at various stages of recovery. The medical team is continuously monitoring and evaluating their progress.


What is CyberKnife?

According to Professor Dr Mssaddi, CyberKnife is a patented robotic-assisted radiosurgery. Currently, in the UAE, the treatment is only available at the Neuro Spinal Hospital. It is an advanced non-invasive alternative to surgery to treat benign or malignant tumours anywhere in the body including the brain, spine, lung and prostate gland. The doctor added that it is mostly used in cases where tumours are inoperable the conventional way.


How does it work?

Dr Shanbag explained that the CyberKnife treatment system is akin to undergoing an X-ray. It delivers high doses of radiation to irradiate a tumour with extreme accuracy to ensure that no harm is done to surrounding healthy tissue.

“It uses sophisticated image guidance and computer-controlled robotics to send multiple beams of radiation to the tumour from virtually any direction with extreme accuracy. It is able to track the tumour’s position and continue to track it and correct for position changes during patient movement and breathing," she added.

Furthermore, Dr Yanek underlined some clear advantages of the surgical method, adding that it is also covered by most health insurances. Dr Yanek noted that it is a pain-free, non-invasive, surgery which can be carried out in an outpatient procedure without anaesthesia in one to five sittings maximum. The recovery time is also quick as there are no cuts involved.

"With more than two decades of clinical proof worldwide, the CyberKnife can not only offer new hope to patients with surgically inoperable or complex tumours, but can also help avoid post-surgical complications arising due to anaesthesia or infection or pain management," Dr Yanek added. 

SOURCE: Gulf News


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