GPS System Helps Treat Prostate Cancer

"It seems with this new technology you have the ability to pinpoint a tumor's location with greater accuracy and continuously monitor its position in a real-time fashion during radiation treatment."

Technology Could Apply to Other Cancers

While this is the first time the technology is being used, experts say that it has implications beyond prostate cancer.

"Any tumor that moves could be tracked in this manner," said Mohiuddin. "The greatest benefit would be in lung cancer, where tumors move because of the patient's breathing."

And judging from initial interest, the technology may have the potential to become a widely available option for cancer treatment.

"Leading cancer centers around the country have shown a high degree of interest in this and we are talking to a number of cancer sites," said J. Nelson Wright, executive vice president and chief technology officer for Calypso.

But for the time being, Heinkel says he is simply glad that the navigational system made his cancer treatment more bearable.

"Having an engineering background, specifically a radiofrequency background, I was very interested in understanding the technology and the functionality of the system," said Heinkel.

"But as a patient I am just happy that so far I have had no side effects. It has been a very benign experience."

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