“Turn left in one mile … recalculating route.”
Drivers who have heard the reassuring voice of a GPS navigator in unfamiliar terrain probably are familiar with those phrases — and are likely grateful for the turn-by-turn guidance this technological wonder provides in helping them arrive safely at their destinations. Before the arrival of the GPS on automobile dashboards, navigating new territory often meant driving miles out of one’s way in search of the correct route (not to mention a fair amount of exasperation behind the wheel). But now in the modern era, wrong turns are largely a thing of the past, with GPS technology capable of pinpointing location continuously and telling drivers exactly how to get from point A to point B.
In the medical arena, that same technology also is now being put to good use, enabling doctors to navigate a different kind of route — one that leads to a patient’s organ, where more targeted treatment can be delivered to patients with cancer. Known as Calypso, this revolutionary real-time tumor tracking technology was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2006 for use in the prostate, and is currently under consideration for treating other cancers as well.
The first hospital in the region to offer Calypso technology, Martha Jefferson spent last summer and fall installing the system’s software and equipment and training staff, and this winter the first patient reaped the benefits of this innovative treatment.