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Cyberknife and Northern California Kaiser Member New Dx Prostate Cancer
Smithgem
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 5:46 PM
Joined: 5/13/2012
Posts: 3


Hello, I am newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, 57 years old live in the East Bay Area of N. California. (Gleason 3+3, T1c PSA: 3. Sucks for me as this will be my third cancer. Other two: non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage 4 Dx1991 (a big deal) and Basel Cell Skin Cancer Dx2005 (not such a big deal). Have been told by Kaiser they will not be provided me with Cyberknife treatment. They do own one of the machines however it is for entire SF bay area. My oncologist (the one who has been following me for the Lymphoma) has told me the following: “As far as I know, cyberknife would be an experimental treatment for prostate cancer and has not yet been validated.” and when pressed further said: “I wasn't saying that cyberknife treatment of the prostate wasn't interesting or even promising, but it has not been accepted as a standard treatment for prostate cancer. Neither the NCCN guidelines from the US or the EAU guidelines from Europe list cyberknife as one of the acceptable forms of treatment. I don't think that even the proponents of this form of therapy would claim it has yet been accepted as safe and effective in treating prostate cancer. I am not sure what you mean by FDA approved. The FDA doesn't approve radiation machines for treating specific types of cancer.” And when pressed even further said: “I really do understand that this looks promising, but it is still not an accepted form of therapy. It remains an interesting experimental form of therapy. I am sure that those who are doing the treatments believe in it. Thanks for the links to the articles.” Despite what he says I am considering having Cyberknife done. Perhpas in Reno with Dr. Tay (my daughter lives in Reno) or UCSF and paying for it out of pocket. Any opinions or information you folks can give will be much appreciated.
ChicoXXX
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012 8:38 AM
Joined: 10/10/2008
Posts: 377


smithgem,

I was treated with  CK for Prostate  four years ago . I am very happy that I chose CK as the treatment option  for PCa.   

 

I think you might want to review a recent thread initiated by cindym  - "long term resuls from Cyberknife"   . It currentlly in one topic following yours in the Prostate Section .

 

 

 

http://www.cyberknife.com/Forum.aspx?g=posts&t=4916#jumptobottom

 

I am disappointed at "what appears to be a very negative"  view point of your oncologist regarding a procedue that I  have completed. But, I am not an MD,just a cancer survivor. 

 

 My Urologist said , four years ago, that CK looked "very promising" . He said that in my particular case, we could consider watchful waaating /active surveillance, Prostectomy [he had peferformed 000s] and Radiologicap procedures. He suggested that I discuss the CK Procedure at the Cancer Center in the Hospital ( along with other Radiation Options). 

 

 I ended up being the first patient from my  Uroloists  Group to have  CK for Prostate. There are many urology groups using the hospital so I was "not the first PCa patient" at the Center to have CK.  I had five out-patient treatments ( drove myself to the hospital)  and was playing tennis two weeks after the procedure . I have to add, however, just like the "medical perscription and stock broker ads" my results do not guarantee that other results will be the same"  .

 

 

I am sure that you will get more responses on the topic.    The procedure is not covered by all insurers, but the number is increasing and a few members on this forum have had their cases reviewed and reversed/approved on appeal ( I think one or two may have been in California) .

 

I will allow the more qualified posters (esp Dr Katz) to comment on the

 

 "promising and not validated"   and the commnet ""  I don't think that even the proponents of this form of therapy would claim it has yet been accepted as safe and effective in treating prostate cancer.statement."" 

Not sure what the meant by "safe and effective".  

I am not suggesting that you "not considere other forms of treatment"  .  I am just suggesting that you do your research on this and other sites oriented to the treatment of PCa (e.g.     https://therss.org/             ) to get other viewpoints from Medical Proressionals and PCa patients considering options and PCa survivors who have already completed treatments.

 

chico ( not an MD or Medical Professional).


alan katz md
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012 1:54 PM
Joined: 10/10/2008
Posts: 463


Smithgem Go to my website cyberknifeprostateradiosurgery.com and check out my papers and my blog I have lots of data out to five years with excellent outcomes. Your doctor is not well informed If you are interested my center in NY offers a very affordable price for treatment and we can get the whole thing done in under two weeks.. If you go another site, like UCSF , I am sue they will charge a lot more money

Alan J Katz MD JD

Flushing Radiation Oncology

40-22 Main St  Flushing NY

akatzmd@msn.com

 


Smithgem
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012 4:45 PM
Joined: 5/13/2012
Posts: 3


Thank You Dr Katz, will check out your web site right now. FYI just back from a consult appointment with a radiation oncologist through my HMO. They propose for me to do a IMRT treatment (5days a week for 7 weeks) with gold seed implants to tract prostate movement. Claims their beam will be about 5mm beyond the prostate. Statement from them: IMRT would be a “Standard of Care” treatment while Cyberknife would be a “Protocol” treatment. They also did say that my HMO sometimes does use the one Cyberknife machine they have for prostate cancer and that if I insist may be able to get me approved but that make me a bit nervous if they are (1) hesitant about it in the first place and (2) do only a few prostate procedures.
JAV
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012 5:07 PM
Joined: 10/29/2010
Posts: 638


Smithgem: I think it would very interesting to find out the useage of the CK machine. Maybe it is just not available for CaP treatments because it is in use for other type of Ca and other conditions. And it sounds like your center definitely does not have CaP planning experience. I'm sorry to hear you may not have CK as an option, unless the cost comes out of your pocket. BC/BS of Michigan routinely pays for CK, BTW. It paid for mine last year. JAV
alan katz md
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012 5:33 PM
Joined: 10/10/2008
Posts: 463


We now have five year data for CK. Up until last year no data beyond five years was available for IMRT, but everyone called it the standard then. Not only that but my five year results are over 10% better than IMRT for every risk group. Standard IMRT is not that great

Alan J Katz MD JD

Flushing Radiation Oncology

40-22 Main St  Flushing NY

akatzmd@msn.com

 


viperfred
Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2012 10:22 AM
Joined: 10/10/2008
Posts: 786


Smithgem, Sorry you have to deal with cancer again? Your doctor is "not" offering optimal care that others in Kaiser have received in the Bay Area! The Cyberknife in their So. SF location has been offered to treat other PCA patients. I have to check my records to confirm the doctor who said he would treat him with CK. The president of the NCCN is a surgeon, radiotherpy is not their first choice. Your treatment is driven by economics not what is best for you! What is the Kaiser appeal process? In my opinion the Cyberknife is proven to be better than IMRT or surgery. it is also less expensive. No recovery time, out patient treatment
Smithgem
Posted: Monday, May 28, 2012 12:13 PM
Joined: 5/13/2012
Posts: 3


Thanks for the encourgement viperfred. I am still working on Kaiser, the Rad. Ong. in Oakland said that the Cyberkinfe in South San Francisco "sometimes" is used for Prostate cancer but that would be a "Protocol treatment" and not "standard of care". May just go ahead to fly to Queens NY in early fall and pay out of pocket and be done with it because if I do convince Kaiser on Cyberknife do I really want to be treated by people who are not really invested in the treatment?
viperfred
Posted: Monday, May 28, 2012 5:38 PM
Joined: 10/10/2008
Posts: 786


Hi Smithgem,

Agree with the plan for a vacation in Flushing.

FredK


BD
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 6:30 AM
Joined: 10/1/2011
Posts: 5


Smithgem,

My experience was was similar to yours. As a Kaiser patient living in the South Bay, I was very interested in Kaiser's CK facility in South San Francisco. However, Kaiser would not approve its use for my case of prostate cancer. Instead, they wanted me to go with brachytherapy at their facility near Auburn, CA, even though their own docs said that my BPH and calcifications made me a less than ideal candidate for this treatment. After sever months of frustration, I threw in the towel with Kaiser. I got my CK treatment in Oct 2011 at UCSF, one of the country's leading cancer centers, which also has no problem with CK as a treatment for prostate cancer. Bottom line: quite disappointed with Kaiser; very happy with UCSF.

Good Luck!
BD

alan katz md
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 8:30 AM
Joined: 10/10/2008
Posts: 463


BD Your handle is a famous Yale quarteback who became a Doonesbury character. His name was Brian Dowling and he played in the famous game where Harvard tied Yale in 1968 after being down by 15 pts with two minutes to go. BTW How much did UCSF charge you. I do it for $18,000

Alan J Katz MD JD

Flushing Radiation Oncology

40-22 Main St  Flushing NY

akatzmd@msn.com

 


 

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