Stereotactic radiosurgery, also known as SRS, is often considered one of the greatest triumphs of modern medicine. Developed more than half a century ago as an alternative to surgery, SRS is commonly used to treat many brain cancers, including primary and metastatic brain tumors, yet with no incision, no pain, and little to no patient recovery period.
However, due to the historically significant costs and complexities to deliver treatments, availability of SRS has remained heavily concentrated among the largest, most well-funded academic hospitals. The result: only 150,000 patients globally receive SRS each year, while estimates suggest there are more than two million potential patient candidates.
Put simply, for 50+ years, SRS has remained out of reach for more than 90% of patients who might benefit.
Removing Barriers and Lowering Costs Through Innovation
ZAP Surgical Systems, Inc. of San Carlos, California, looks to change the paradigm for patients in need of better and more affordable healthcare closer to home. Leveraging the most advanced technology available, ZAP recently introduced a new device, the ZAP-X® Gyroscopic Radiosurgery® platform. With an ultra-modern design one might expect to see in a science fiction movie, ZAP-X dramatically simplifies SRS delivery and streamlines staffing requirements through a hyper-focused approach of treating only cranial indications. And by eliminating the historical necessity of costly shielded radiation “vaults”, as well as obsolescing the prior reliance on volatile radioactive isotopes, ZAP-X has opened a new world of access to cost-effective radiosurgery.
Boldly Going Where No SRS System Has Gone Before
Taking advantage of these innovations, both large and small healthcare providers have recently pounced on the opportunity to expand SRS beyond the predominantly large urban hospitals, where costs are often at their apex, and move radiosurgery to lower-cost suburban settings and outpatient satellite facilities. In addition to driving significant reductions in cost, the move has also brought the procedure to large pockets of population that previously had little if any convenient access to SRS.
“ZAP-X is inspiring a sea-change in how and where we deliver radiosurgery,” said Dr. Brian Collins, medical director of the Department of Radiation Medicine at MedStar Georgetown Cancer Center.
Separately, Neurosurgery One in partnership with Centura’s Littleton Adventist Hospital is scheduled to initiate patient treatments with ZAP-X in early 2022. As a suburban community hospital in Littleton, Colorado, ZAP-X has enabled the site to bring world-class SRS to a setting typically reserved for the large academic hospitals in Denver.
“We pride ourselves on having the very latest technologies in a non-traditional setting – the suburban community hospital,” said Dr. David VanSickle, neurosurgeon at Neurosurgery One. “In the past, patients often commuted to congested urban areas seeking large university hospitals outside our community. The addition of ZAP-X changes that and will be a win-win for both the center and the patients we serve.”
The Ultimate in Patient Access and Convenience
In early 2022, ZAP expects its first site in Japan to begin patient treatments in an entirely novel and unique outpatient setting – a bullet train station. The new installation is expected to usher in a new era of patient access and convenience, where patients from both near and far are treated without entering the city center or busy hospital – and depart just hours after what has now become a relatively simple outpatient procedure.