SRS is a well-known and effective procedure for non-invasively treating select brain tumors and brain metastases. However, significant acquisition and radiation shielding costs of historical SRS systems have limited widespread access to this potentially life-saving therapy. Consequently, scarce availability of SRS treatment has remained heavily concentrated in large urban hospitals.
Located in northwest Germany, Lingen’s Bonifatius Hospital is a small community health provider serving an immediate population of only 52,000 persons, and a referral population of less than 250,000. Given the hospital’s rural location and relatively small size, immediate access to SRS was historically considered inconceivable. For their eligible patients, the nearest SRS-capable hospital was more than 2.5 hours away.
Through the efforts of Dr. Peter Douglas Klassen, chief physician and neurosurgeon at Bonifatius Hospital, that will soon change. Relying on the recently introduced ZAP-X Gyroscopic Radiosurgery™ platform, Dr. Klassen and Bonifatius Hospital will bring the most advanced SRS available to Low Saxony and be among the first in Europe with this novel technology.
Years ago, Dr. Klassen lost his mother and closest friend to cancer, who both suffered from brain metastases emanating from breast and lung cancers (respectively).
“In situations such as these, too often patients did not have access to the world-class care available in large metropolitan cities. Such patients were also too often referred for palliative care,” said Dr. Klassen. “With the recent technologies brought forward by ZAP-X, the most advanced SRS care available becomes feasible for a rural community hospital like ours.”
ZAP-X utilizes a modern linear accelerator to eliminate the historical use of Cobalt-60 and the related costs and challenges of hosting live radioactive isotopes. ZAP-X also incorporates a unique vault-free design that typically eliminates the need for costly shielded treatment rooms. Combined, these innovations look to bring leading-edge SRS to the estimated 2 million patients worldwide who currently lack access.
ZAP-X was FDA cleared in the United States in September 2017. It is currently pending CE clearance.
Detailed system overview animations can be found at https://youtu.be/9ph-cdb5QO0.