CyberKnife Robotic RadioSurgery
The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is a novel and advanced technology for the treatment of both malignant and benign tumors virtually anywhere in the body. The word “knife” in CyberKnife is actually somewhat misleading, because the procedure is completely non-invasive and does not require any cutting or surgical intervention.
The CyberKnife system is extremely precise and therein lies one of its primary benefits. By delivering appropriate doses of radiation, limited only to the area of the tumor, the CyberKnife System significantly reduces the exposure to radiation over traditional treatments.
This system is particularly appealing to patients who have inoperable tumors or who do not wish to undergo a surgical procedure. Patients with virtually any form of cancer including lung, prostate, pancreatic, liver and kidney to name a few may benefit from this treatment. Our practice has found that many brain and spine cancer patients can be treated effectively using this technology.
How The CyberKnife Works
Much like traditional forms of cancer treatment, the CyberKnife requires a dedicated multi-specialty medical team. We begin by determining location and size of the tumor using advanced CT scanning. The results of the scan are transmitted to the CyberKnife workstation that our team can use to accurately map out the treatment plan.
Patients will be seated or lying down in an unconfined space and will not feel any pain or discomfort. The robotic arm will automatically move to pre-determined locations where the high-intensity beam of radiation will be deployed. Depending on the tumor, patients will receive one or more treatments over the course of several days, up to five. Each treatment lasts between 30 and 90 minutes.
Upon completion of the course of treatment, patients will be re-evaluated by their oncologist to determine the status of the tumor and decide on next steps.
Benefits of CyberKnife
- Targeted radiation spares much of the surrounding healthy tissue
- May be an alternative to surgery and can be used in conjunction with or in addition to many other cancer treatments including radiation and chemotherapy
- No pain, anesthesia or hospitalization
- Few long-term side-effects
- Minimal, if any, recovery time
- The ability to target from angles not possible with traditional machines
Side-effects are minimal and may include short-term nausea or fatigue.
It is important to know that CyberKnife treatment only may not appropriate for all cancer patients. Some presentations of cancer will be more effectively treated through surgical means, chemotherapy or a combination of treatments. As a result, it is important that you speak to a qualified oncologist before concluding that the CyberKnife treatment is right for you.
Neurosurgery Director of Cyberknife Program
Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery