Accuray Technology and Product Pipeline

This year's featured leaders illustrate medtech's ability to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing business environment.

Steve Halasey

September 1, 2008

3 Min Read
Accuray Technology and Product Pipeline


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Focused for Growth

For more than 50 years, stereotactic radiosurgery has been an alternative surgical treatment for intracranial tumors. However, this procedure typically required an uncomfortable metal frame attached to a patient's skull to limit movement and target radiation beams accurately.

In 1987, after completing a fellowship in Sweden with Lars Leksell, MD, the founder of radiosurgery, John R. Adler, MD, a professor of neurosurgery and radiation oncology at Stanford University Medical Center, developed the CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system. The goal of the CyberKnife system was to extend the benefits of radiosurgery to the treatment of tumors anywhere in the body by incorporating robotics and image guidance, and thereby eliminating the need for invasive stabilizing frames.

(click to enlarge)Accuray's Synchrony respiratory tracking system enables clinicians to continuously track, detect, and correct for tumors that are affected by respiration, while a patient is undergoing therapy.

In 1990, Accuray Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) was founded. After a period of research and development, in 1999 the CyberKnife system was cleared by FDA for the treatment of head, neck, and upper spine tumors. Then, in 2001, Accuray received FDA clearance to introduce enhancements to the CyberKnife system for the treatment of tumors anywhere in the body.

In the years since, Accuray has continued to pursue advances in the field of radiosurgery. In 2004, the company received FDA clearance for its Synchrony respiratory tracking system. The Synchrony system enables clinicians to continuously track, detect, and correct for tumors that are affected by respiration, such as those in the lungs, liver, and pancreas, without breath-holding or gating techniques. In fact, the CyberKnife system is showing such promise for its ability to treat lung cancer that the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston) is launching a wide-ranging clinical study to compare the treatment outcomes of the CyberKnife system with those of surgery in early-stage operable lung cancer.

To date, more than 50,000 patients worldwide have undergone CyberKnife radiosurgery. Since the launch of the CyberKnife system, Accuray has undertaken an aggressive strategy to develop system upgrades that facilitate clinicians' ability to treat tumors anywhere in the body with high levels of accuracy. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, approximately 56% of patients treated with the CyberKnife system in the United States were treated for tumors outside of the brain—a testament to the new definition of radiosurgery.

Currently, a large body of peer-reviewed papers supports the CyberKnife system in clinical practice, with various other papers under way. Today, Accuray is committed not only to continuing its tradition of advancing the field of robotic radiosurgery, but also to providing its customers with the highest level of support in their ongoing efforts to fight cancer.

Copyright ©2008 MX

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