At 56 years old, Edward Chuhna received the diagnosis of prostate cancer. He decided to come to the Taussig Cancer Institute for the latest breakthrough treatment in radiation therapy, Calypso 4D Localization System
Edward Chuhna wasn't particularly alarmed when his routine physical revealed inconsistencies in his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. His primary care physician recommended a biopsy, which came back positive for prostate cancer.
He and his wife researched the options and discussed treatment with several physicians before deciding that surgery offered the simplest route to a cure. But surgery uncovered another concern. "During the procedure, the surgeons found that several nerves were wrapped around the prostate," he remembers. "They told me that if they removed it, there was a high likelihood of me having severe problems with incontinence."
At just 56 years old, Mr. Chuhna was not willing to take the chance. That's when his wife saw an article in the newspaper about a breakthrough in radiation therapy for prostate cancer – the Calypso™ 4D Localization System, available first in Northeast Ohio at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. The system uses permanently implanted wireless transponders that work like a global positioning system (GPS), tracking the targeted tumor continuously from the start of treatment throughout all radiation sessions.
"The Calypso system is an exciting breakthrough. The incorporation of real-time target tracking into radiation delivery increases our confidence that the radiation is being delivered more accurately," says John Suh, MD, Taussig Cancer Institute, chairman of Radiation Oncology. "It enables us to deliver more effective therapy with fewer side effects."
"My wife called nurse Rick Thousand at Cleveland Clinic and he got me right in," says Mr. Chuhna. "We learned that because my cancer had been diagnosed early, radiation offered the same likelihood of a cure as surgery." Mr. Chuhna traveled to Taussig Cancer Institute every weekday morning for eight weeks to undergo treatment. He never missed a day of work, although he did put business travel on hold for a few months.
Two months after radiation therapy ended, Mr. Chuhna returned to his demanding schedule as a senior claims executive for a national insurance company and says he has no adverse effects from his brush with cancer. His most recent PSA tests indicate that he is out of the woods.
"I benefited from early detection and from a team of physicians and other medical professionals who were able to explain what was going on and what the risks were in clear but detailed terms. I was able to make an informed choice and tackle this disease in a way that was relatively straight forward and non-disruptive," he says. "I would recommend the procedure. In terms of impact, it was far less than I expected."