BOSTON - Sheldon G. and Dr. Miriam Adelson were among the honored guests when Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) dedicated the Keith C. Field CyberKnife Center, home to a state-of-the-art radiation technology for treating cancer.
The center, supported in large part by a $2.25 million gift from the Adelsons, houses a state-of-the-art robot capable of directing small harmless beams from 1,200 different positions and angles to kill cancer cells, sparing surrounding tissue while leaving patients free of cumbersome and uncomfortable devices that restrict their movement.
"To honor Keith's memory was very easy for us to do. He was a man that deserved recognition and honor in his life," Adelson said of his brother-in-law, who had been treated for lung cancer at BIDMC. "I've never heard anybody say that the care [at BIDMC] wasn't the best. So, I want to thank all the doctors and the hospital itself for providing that quality of care to people. Clearly, we want that care, not only for ourselves and our family; we want it for the whole community, for our friends and everyone in this community."
BIDMC is the first hospital in New England to offer this technology. CyberKnife functions as a kind of global positioning system to continuously track a patient's movement and the position and shape of the tumor before administering treatment. The real-time tracking feature makes it possible to treat cancers that move with each breath, such as lung and pancreatic tumors.
Compared to conventional radiosurgical devices that use a single, large uniform beam, CyberKnife releases beams that intersect and converge within less than a millimeter of the tumor or lesion site, sparing healthy surrounding tissue. Since the minimally invasive procedure doesn't require sedation or incisions, there is little recovery time or side effects.
Because CyberKnife's beam intensity can deliver three times the amount of radiation, patients who have previously reached the lifetime dose limit of traditional radiation therapy can receive additional treatment. Adelson is the chairman of Las Vegas Sands Inc., the parent company of the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas. A Boston native, he is the founder of more than 50 companies, including the Interface Group and COMDEX, which was the world's largest trade show. He is known worldwide as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and philanthropist.
Dr. Adelson is a physician and research pioneer in the treatment of drug addiction. She is the founder and chairwoman of the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Clinic for Drug Abuse Treatment and Research in Las Vegas. She and Sheldon are also the founders of Israel's first hospital-based drug clinic. Their philanthropic activities include support and funding for the Hebrew Academy High School and Hebrew Community Center at the Milton I. Schwartz Hebrew Academy in Summerlin NV, and the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Campus at the Hebrew Senior Life Retirement Community to be built in Dedham, MA. They are also major donors and supporters of AIPAC, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, the Anti-Defamation League, and many other Jewish and non-sectarian organizations.
Mr. Field, the late husband of Gloria Adelson Field of Sudbury, had served as a corporate vice president of the Interface Group and had been active in many charities and organizations in the greater Boston community.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and ranks fourth in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox.