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New Long-Lasting Relief from Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain

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Accuray Incorporated announced today that long-term follow-up data from a study of men and women with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) showed 72 percent continued to experience pain relief 10 years after receiving image-guided robotic radiosurgery treatments delivered with the CyberKnife® System. The study abstract, titled “Robotic Image-Guided Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia: Results after 10 Years,” was recognized as Best Clinical Abstract at the recent 2022 Radiosurgical Society Meeting in Carlsbad, California.

TN occurs most frequently in people over the age of 50 years old and is more common in women than in men. A chronic pain condition affecting a craniofacial nerve that is primarily responsible for transmitting sensations from the face to the brain, TN is described by some patients as the most excruciating pain human beings can suffer. Pain can be brought on from the lightest of touches to the face, even a gently breeze can start a painful attack.

“Many people don’t understand how debilitating the chronic pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia can be. If left untreated, or inadequately treated, it can be difficult to perform daily activities that most of us take for granted – from eating a meal, washing our face or brushing our teeth, to talking. That’s why studies like this are so significant. They demonstrate that with treatment options like CyberKnife radiosurgery, we can provide our patients long-term pain control – without a rigid head frame, surgery or medications. We can offer our patients hope and the chance to once again focus on what’s possible in their lives,” said Alfredo Conti, associate professor of neurosurgery at Alma Mater Bologna University in Bologna, Italy.

TN can affect patients over the course of their lives, making long-term medical care a necessity. Treatment of TN usually begins with medication to block the pain signals sent to the brain. Over time, some medications become less effective, and certain patients experience unpleasant side effects. Alternative treatments, such as injections, radiofrequency, balloon compression, surgery or radiosurgery, may be required for these patients.

“Clinical data continues to confirm the durable benefits that CyberKnife radiosurgery can provide over the long term. The system delivers advanced radiotherapy treatments with sub-millimeter accuracy, which is of critical importance when treating tumors and lesions in the brain, while minimizing risk of potential side effects,” said Suzanne Winter, president of Accuray. “This most recent trigeminal neuralgia study reinforces why medical care teams turn to CyberKnife radiosurgery when precision and accuracy are essential and demonstrates the positive impact this non-invasive treatment option may have on the lives of people living with this severe and challenging-to-treat medical condition.”

The CyberKnife System was designed to treat diseases in the head and base of the skull, and functional disorders, with radiosurgery – without the use of a fixed frame bolted to the patient’s head. The system features a linear accelerator (linac) directly mounted on a robot that moves and bends around the patient to deliver non-isocentric, non-coplanar radiation beams from potentially thousands of unique angles, facilitating highly precise and accurate treatments – typically in just one to five visits.

Using advanced imaging and Accuray-exclusive Synchrony® real-time target tracking with dynamic delivery technology, the CyberKnife® System can track the tumor or lesion and continually verify its position, automatically correcting and adapting the radiation beam position for even the slightest movement. Synchrony uses advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive dynamic delivery accounting for motion with uninterrupted treatment delivery and maximum patient comfort. For example, if the patient moves their head during treatment, the CyberKnife System detects this movement and synchronizes the treatment delivery beam to the tumor’s or lesion’s new position in real-time.

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