Stereotactic Radiosurgery Centre opened in Sigulda, Latvia with Most Modern CyberKnife Technology in Baltic States
The stereotactic radiosurgery centre “Sigulda” (SRC Sigulda) was opened on November 24, offering patients access with the most modern CyberKnife technology in the Baltic States to treat benign and malignant tumours.
CyberKnife is a non-invasive and robotised radiosurgery technology that is particularly appropriate for patients whose tumours cannot be surgically removed, because they are in an inaccessible place or because the surgery would create serious risks to the patient’s health or life.
Dr Māris Skromanis, director of SRC Sigulda: “This is an important project for Sigulda, Latvia and the Baltic States, because SRC Sigulda is the first radiosurgery and CyberKnife technology centre in the Baltic States. This is also the first public and private partnership clinic specialising in oncology in Latvia. It is daring to open this very specialised centre outside of university hospitals. The method has everything to do with examinations and treatments, with many specialists and other medical institutions being involved, too. We are one of the mechanisms in the system that is focused on patients, making services more accessible and convenient. We will be most pleased when we help real patients.”
The board chairwoman of the Latvian Therapeutic Radiology Centre and senior physician in laser therapy at the Latvian Oncology Centre, Dace Saukuma: “I am delighted to be here at such an important moment for Latvian medicine. CyberKnife robotised and stereotactic radiosurgery is meant specifically for radio surgery, ensuring treatment of oncologic and non-oncologic disorders. During the therapy, the patient receives large doses of ablative and ionising beams, maximally protecting surrounding health tissue and ensuring the same results as with surgery, treating the problem and/or extending the patient’s life. One of the aims of the therapy is to reduce pain and long-lasting or chronic symptoms related to disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, trigeminal neuralgia, or bloodstream pathologies. The method is easier and more comfortable for the patient, because fixation frames and anaesthesia are not needed. Precision in the positioning and treatment of the patient is based on the anatomic structure of the patient’s body, as well as markers that are placed close to the tumour.
Radiosurgery with CyberKnife is an alternative or supplement for invasive surgery or conventional laser therapy. Dr Egils Valeinis: “Sometimes surgery and radiosurgery cannot help, but a combination of both methods provides good results. If a patient has six metastases in the brain, two large ones can be removed surgically, but the other four can be treated with CyberKnife.”
Doctors say that the main beneficiaries will be patients who will have access to the most modern technology of this type in the world. The director of the Diagnostic Radiology Institute at the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital, Dr Kārlis Kupčs: “This technology was the last step that was not available for patients in Latvia in the past.”
The stereotactic radiosurgery centre “Sigulda” spend EUR 5.6 million to buy the equipment and build the centre, of which EUR 3.8 million came from a Citadele Bank loan, with the rest of the money coming from private capital. The project is part of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) programme on high added value investments, which involves financing from ERDF. The LIAA grant of EUR 2.13 million will be provided only after the project is successfully implemented, and the money will be used to repay the Citadele loan.
Citadele Bank board member Santa Purgaile: “Corporate loans are a priority for the bank, and during the first three quarters of this year, Citadele has provided Latvian companies with more than EUR 87 million in financing. When it comes to economic growth, it is particularly important to support companies that manufacture things or provide services with a high level of added value and can export their products or services. The Sigulda project is one of few private investment projects in the field of medicine, showing that the bank can help to develop new and important areas of business.”
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