ST. PAUL, Minn.
Carolyn Miner has always been active and healthy. A former rodeo barrel racer and physical education teacher who runs, lifts weights and practices yoga, she started to notice hearing and balance problems roughly eight months ago.
She had a hearing test, but unsatisfied with the findings, she went to an ear nose and throat doctor who ordered an MRI. This showed a medium-sized tumor in her brain near her inner ear.
"This was the biggest health issue I’ve ever had," Miner said, and she went to four neurosurgeons for advice. "Basically, I had three choices: wait and see; radiation treatments with a CyberKnife or Gamma Knife if it stays small, or surgery."
The multidisciplinary team approach at United Hospital offers patients the combined expertise of a skull base neurosurgeon, neuro-otologist, neuro-radiosurgeon, neuro-oncologist, and radiation medicine physicians.
After in-depth consultation with the team, Miner became the first person to be treated at Nasseff Cyberknife® in the St. Paul Cancer Center at United on March 11 with the CyberKnife® M6™. This is the most current and accurate CyberKnife® technology and the first in the Upper Midwest.
Another MRI in three months will check the status of Miner's tumor. Today she said, "I’m very confident in my choice"
"Because of its precision and dosing flexibility, this technology spares patients unnecessary damage from surgery or radiation," said Leslie Nussbaum, MD, PhD, neurosurgeon with the National Brain Aneurysm Center and Nasseff CyberKnife® co-director. "Radiosurgery isn't for every patient, but we are delighted to have this in our armamentarium when it is a patient's best treatment option."
"This CyberKnife produces better outcomes with less toxicity. This is the most significant advancement in radiation therapy that I have seen in 18 years of practice. It’s refreshing to be able to offer it to patients," said Ellen Bellairs, MD, radiation oncologist with Minnesota Oncology and Nasseff CyberKnife® co-director.
The CyberKnife M6 was made possible by a generous gift to the United Hospital Foundation from community leader and philanthropist John Nasseff.
Nasseff CyberKnife is part of John Nasseff Neuroscience Institute, part of Allina Health. Services are provided in partnership with the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute, also part of Allina Health, and Minnesota Oncology. People who want more information may call 651-241-4646 or 844-861-4646 or visit nasseffcyberknife.org.
Minnesota Oncology is a group of more than 70 oncology and hematology specialists dedicated solely to the diagnosis and treatment of various cancers—lung, breast, gynecological, colorectal, prostate and others—as well as many blood disorders. It has 11 locations across the Twin Cities metropolitan area and is an affiliate of US Oncology, one of the nation's largest cancer treatment and research networks. For more information please visit mnoncology.com.