Spizhenko Clinic is the first medical center in Eastern Europe to use a robotic CyberKnife system for non-surgical treatment of cancer and vascular pathologies. The opening of the Clinic gave a chance to those who could not be helped by other types of cancer treatment available in Ukraine.
Thanks to the uniqueness of the CyberKnife technology and the achieved level of efficiency of its use, Spizhenko Clinic is widely known not only in Ukraine – more than 55 thousand patients from 32 countries of the world received help during the whole work.
What inspired you to develop?
The idea of creation belongs to my father, Yuri Prokopovich Spizhenko. He dreamed of creating a unique hospital where high-precision treatment is performed. At that time, analogues of such hospitals were only in Japan, USA, Germany. For most other countries, it looked fantastic. And thanks to my father, Ukraine became the first country in Eastern Europe to have a new specialty – radiosurgeon.
Yuri Prokopovich’s whole life resembled the path of a winner. The First Minister of Independent Ukraine, the First Academician of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the First President of the Pharmaceutical Committee of Ukraine… And the establishment of the CyberKnife Center was the first step towards building a full-cycle oncology center in Ukraine. The correctness of this choice is confirmed by the modern concept of oncology, which involves the use of a combination of all methods: radiosurgery, radiation therapy, surgery, targeted treatment, chemotherapy.
That is why the goal of the Spizhenko Clinic development was to unite all methods in one center. And we went to this goal for seven long years.
You mentioned that among the 55,000 treated patients are citizens of 32 countries. How did they find out about the existence of such a clinic in Ukraine?
One of the first steps in the work of the Spizhenko Clinic was accreditation in insurance companies around the world. This gave our partners the opportunity to offer insured persons quality international treatment at an affordable price. Further development and success in treatment contributed to the development of scientific relations of the Clinic with key foreign specialists – neurosurgeons, surgeons, oncologists. A research center was established, the experience of which is actively presented in regular reports at international conferences. All this contributes to the development of international cooperation and the involvement of patients from other countries.
But any robot is controlled by a human. Where do you find the right level of specialists?
In order for the best doctors to work in the Clinic, two things are needed: to install the best equipment in the world and to teach the doctor to work with it. We have educated and continue to educate our staff independently: exchange of experience, training and internships abroad (in Germany, USA, Italy). In the future, we plan to open an independent medical university at the Spizhenko Clinic. We have to do it ourselves. Personnel and equipment solve everything.
And yet, everyone is interested not so much in how to cure, but how to protect themselves from cancer. What do you say about that?
To date, no ideal method of cancer prevention has been invented. But many years of international experience demonstrate the advantage of preventive diagnostic measures in the fight against cancer.
They begin with self-diagnosis, which involves complex and high-tech diagnostic methods: CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), digital mammography, etc.
Therefore, for each age group the world community of oncologists has developed a set of diagnostic procedures and recommendations for the appropriate frequency of each of their elements – the so-called “oncoscreening” or “onco-check-up”.
Such a service also exists in the Spizhenko Clinic – on the basis of the leading recommendations of the world community for each patient we develop personal cancer screening plans that take into account the individual characteristics of the body. For example, for children from 8 years old, these plans include safe methods such as ultrasound, MRI of the whole body, laboratory tests (including hormonal parameters). For adults with bad habits and occupational characteristics, onco screening programs are supplemented by more sophisticated highly specialized diagnostic methods, such as lung CT, or gastroscopy and colonoscopy recommended every 2-3 years. For this purpose, the Clinic has established Centers for Men’s and Women’s Health.
Is CyberKnife really the perfect cancer treatment?
In my opinion, yes. Modern medicine can cure a patient with any localization of the tumor, if it is diagnosed at an early stage. Even “asymptomatic” tumors 1-2 mm in size will not be covered by oncoscreening with an objective diagnosis of the patient’s entire body, and a high-precision blow of the CyberKnife system will not leave cancer cells any chance.
For a long time, the words “cancer” and “tumor” sounded like a sentence, and the word “knife” caused fear and pain. Today, CyberKnife has completely turned the notion of cancer treatment. Many of those patients who were considered “inoperable” before going to the Spizhenko Clinic have already been treated, and those who avoided traditional surgery are already being treated here, without blood loss, without pain, without incisions and sutures. Cancer treatment at Spizhenko Clinic is high-quality, fast, convenient and painless.
Many people in Ukraine say that we do not have, and cannot have, modern medicine. As we can see, this is not the case. The success of the Clinic, founded by Yuri Spizhenko and developed by his daughter Natalia Spizhenko, is a clear example of the fact that modern, effective medical care already exists in Ukraine. And the only thing that is needed to create world-class medicine in our country is the presence of people who know that the impossible does not exist. And Natalia Yuriyivna Spizhenko is one of them.