Sat, Oct 21, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Tumor removed with 'Cyberknife'

By Angelica Oung  /  STAFF REPORTER

A woman from Palau who came to Taiwan to have a brain tumor treated using state-of-the-art technology is due to return home today after making a good recovery.

Lilian Mabel Iekar was treated at Taipei's Wanfang Hospital, where her tumor was removed using a "cyberknife." This involves radiosurgery, a medical procedure which allows non-invasive brain surgery by means of directed beams of ionizing radiation.

"When she arrived, we found that the tumor had grown 100 percent in volume compared to her file images to four centimeters in diameter," said Lin Chia-wei (林家瑋). "A tumor of that size would be extremely risky to remove by traditional means."

According to Lin, more than 200 patients have been treated by the NT$6 million (US$180,000)technology since it was brought to Taiwan last year.

"It's above and beyond its competitors in terms of precision and safety" said Lin.

Palau is one of Taiwan's allies in the Pacific. International Cooperation and Development Fund Deputy Secretary-General Shao Li-chung (邵立中) called the operation "a good combination of medical outreach and diplomacy."

At a press conference yesterday, Palau's Minister of Health Victor Yano praised the Wanfang hospital medical team.

"Even while the policy makers are still deliberating," said Yano, "the mobile medical mission was on the ground."

Iekar is a former patient of Yano's back from when he was practicing medicine.

"Lilian's condition was very serious when I examined her, with the tumor flattening her brainstem," said Wanfang Hospital's superintendent Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達), who went to Palau as a part of a mobile medical mission in August. The decision was made to bring her to Taiwan for a cyberknife operation as the 49-year-old Iekar had been bedridden for more than a year.

"I'm feeling very good" said Iekar at the press conference.

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