The brain tumor operation takes five hours, followed by one day of intensive care, a week of hospital stay, and eight weeks of rehabilitation. Now everything should be done in just 30 minutes – thanks to the super robot ZAP-X.
Munich, Germany). Neurosurgeon, radiosurgeon and medical director of a hospital European CyberKnife Center“The patient is lying on a couch and more than 100 photon beams, a type of very hard X-ray, have hit the tumor very precisely. In doing so, they kill the tumor in its genome and after a few weeks or months the tumor cells die,” says Professor Aleksandr Muasevich.
ZAP treatment is painless, no anesthesia is required and the patient can go home immediately after the procedure.
The first robot of its kind in Europe
ZAP-X is already used in China, the USA and now finally also in Europe – in the CyberKnife Clinic Großhadern. “With ZAP-X, we are enabling radiosurgery as a one-time targeted radiation to tumors as an alternative to surgery,” says Professor Alexander Muasevic, Director of the CyberKnife Center.
ZAP-X is said to successfully treat meningiomas, neuromas, pituitary adenomas, vascular abnormalities and metastases. However, the tumor should be no larger than 3.5 cm and not be metastatic. This non-surgical procedure works only with single tumors, up to a maximum of ten. ZAP-X is designed for early and middle stage tumors.
ZAP-X uses multiplex tomography angiography (MTA) system technology. An essential design feature of the tower system is the use of a conical aperture of different diameters for the beam, which is selected to match the size of the tumor. During irradiation, the system rotates around the patient.
Depending on the location of the tumor, a combination of surgery and radiosurgery may also be necessary. “Working with colleagues at the Grosshaden Clinic is often critical,” explains Professor Muacevic.
ZAP-X has received CE approval for clinical use in Europe and FDA approval for the United States. Scientific studies have shown that radiotherapy is just as effective as surgery. Professor Muacevic is sure that ZAP-X will establish itself all over the world.
The cost of the robot-assisted operation is about 7,500 euros, which is already covered by private health insurance companies and AOK Bayern. The cost of a conventional operation is about 10,000 euros – without rehabilitation.