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Encinitas Tabbed as Second Locale to Treat Cancers Using Gamma Device

Last week, Business Journal readers learned of American Radiosurgery Inc., a local concern that has developed a device for treating brain cancers with gamma radiation.

This week, another San Diego County company has emerged vowing to use similar technology on the rest of the body.

The CyberKnife Center of San Diego, which opened in June in the Kearny Mesa area, announced last week that construction on a second CyberKnife Center in Encinitas has commenced. It is expected to open by early 2008 at the latest.

The Encinitas center will be 5,100 square feet, larger than Kearny Mesa’s 4,200-square-foot office.

Using robotics and radiation, the device treats tumors , particularly ones in the body cavity , with minimal risks to the patient.

In addition to North County residents, the Encinitas center is expected to serve patients living in Riverside and Orange counties.

San Diego-based Radiation Medical Group, along with other investors, said it paid a “multimillion-dollar price” to bring the technology to San Diego.

Radiation Medical Group is comprised of physicians.

Other specifics, including revenues, were not provided.

Some 100 people have been treated at Kearny Mesa, and the second in Encinitas is expected to meet growing patient demand for the treatments, said a company spokeswoman.

The CyberKnife is manufactured by Sunnyvale-based Accuray, which recently began trading on the Nasdaq.

The technology was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002.

Sales were $52 million in its 2006 fiscal year, which ended June 30. Eighty-three systems have been installed.

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A Healthy Start:

East County is on its way to getting a new clinic to help the uninsured, including working families that make too much to qualify for government health care coverage.

The Grossmont Healthcare District, a public agency that runs Sharp Grossmont Hospital, announced last week that it has granted $25,000 to Volunteers in Medicine, a group of retired doctors and nurses who run such clinics.

The grant is to be used to pay for architectural drawings and plans for construction of a 10-room permanent clinic facility in El Cajon.

The district currently operates out of a two-room modular building located in a church parking lot. It opened last year. No date has been announced for the opening of the clinic.

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House Calls:

From charity to vanity, a new mobile medical spa service has made its debut in San Diego.

Destinations Medical Spa proclaims to be the first doctor-managed service of its kind in the county. The San Marcos business, launched in February, is run by Dr. Donna Richardson, a Kaiser Permanente physician for more than 30 years.

Among the services available through Destinations, which makes calls on homes and offices, are laser treatments, such as those that remove hair and those that reduce wrinkles; Botox and other injectable procedures; and facial treatments, such as chemical peels.

In addition to San Diego, Destinations is targeting Temecula.


Send health care news to Jessica Long at jlong@sdbj.com. She may also be reached at (858) 277-6359, ext. 3114.

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