From left to right - Martin Richardson, Physicist, Ronald Kersh, MD, Monica Diggs, Kelly Spencer, Physicist, Michele Langley (front), William Morris (back), Erin McDaniel, Yulia Mironova, Sergy Boyankin, Carlos Sandin, Dmitry Bentsion

This week, Riverside’s Stereotactic Radiosurgery Center (a joint venture with the University of Virginia and Chesapeake Regional) hosted a scientific and cultural visit from The Sverdlovsk Regional Oncology Center from Yekaterinburg, Russia. Dr. Dmitry Bentsion, Chair of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Yulia Mironova, Radiation Oncologist and Dr. Sergey Bayankin, Chair of Medical Physics visited the Radiosurgery Center to learn about these precise tools for radiating tumors.

Riverside physician Dr. Ron Kersh had previously helped Russian health care professionals set up two other stereotactic programs in two other cities previously with his colleague, Dr. Olga Anikeeva at the Meshalkin State Research Institute in Novosibirsk, Russia and in St. Perersburg.  Their Spinal Radiosurgery Programs are modeled after Riverside’s program and have become very successful.

“Our center is recognized as a Radiosurgical Center of Excellence, as one of only four dedicated stereotactic surgery centers in the country,” Kersh said. “Many patients do not know that this is an option for cancer treatment, and we have world-class expertise with this technology,” he said.

Kersh has been working with the radiosurgery since the arrival of the 4th Gamma Knife in the world to UVA in 1989. Dr. Kersh along with his medical physics colleagues, Martin Richardson and Kelly Spencer have spoken around the world, including Russia, Greece, Germany, Scotland, Turkey, India, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic and Australia about stereotactic surgery and now have greater than 40 publications and presentations.

Dr. Bentsion and colleagues arranged to visit to see how Riverside’s Stereotactic Surgery Center in Newport News functions and the decision process about which cases to consider, dosages and techniques. The Yekaterinburg team is especially interested in Riverside’s treatment planning techniques, which have now been published in multiple journals. The Sverdlovsk Oblast region of Russia is in the Ural Mountain range and has a population of 4.3 million people.  They currently do not offer any radiosurgical services, but they do treat more than 200 patients per day in their cancer center.

They plan to add radiosurgery as an additional cancer-fighting option in the next few years and brought cases for review to help develop their process in finding the most likely candidates. This international collaboration helps other cancer centers learn from Riverside’s experience and improve the quality of health for their population at home.

The Radiosurgery Center offers the Synergy S® system and the Gamma Knife, which rely on exceptionally accurate beams of radiation rather than incisions, so procedures are painless and bloodless, and patients recover faster.

The Radiosurgery Center includes the Synergy S® system and the Gamma Knife, which rely on exceptionally accurate beams of radiation rather than incisions, so procedures are painless and bloodless, and patients recover much faster than with conventional surgery.

“This is the future of radiation oncology,” said Kersh. “It’s a more precise and higher dose of radiation, which can be more effective than the standard doses of radiation in many tumor sites.

Kersh said that lung cancer, spinal tumors and certain types of recurrent cancers are more effectively treated with stereotactic surgery methods. “It may be the difference in killing versus controlling the tumor,” he said.

Riverside, in partnership with Chesapeake Regional and the University of Virginia Health System offers a state-of-the-art radiosurgery center located on the campus of Riverside Regional Medical Center. This cooperative venture brings together three highly skilled medical staffs and the commitment of each healthcare organization to help keep the future of medicine closer to home for residents of Hampton Roads and beyond.




Published: May 21, 2014