Cyberknife For Tumors

Cyberknife For Tumors

The Cyberknife Robotic Radiosurgery System is a type of stereotactic radiosurgery, a method of radiation therapy that pinpoints tumors with high doses of radiation. Although the name makes it sound like knives are involved, Cyberknife is a non-invasive, non-surgical form of treatment.

While radiosurgery was originally designed to treat brain tumors, the Cyberknife system can be used on tumors throughout the body, including the spine, lung, prostate, liver, kidney and pancreas.

How Does Cyberknife Work?

While some radiosurgery systems require patients to wear head-frames to prevent any movement during treatment, the Cyberknife system uses unique tracking software to pinpoint the tumor and compensate for any movement of the patient or tumor during treatment.

Patients lie on a reclining table during treatment sessions, while the robotic arm moves around the patient to deliver radiation to the tumor from multiple angles. Doctors and nurses watch and control the machine from another room where they can hear you, see you and talk to you through speakers.

Using images of the tumor from detailed CT scans, Cyberknife directs powerful X-rays to the tumor alone, preventing injury to nearby tissues. Treatment sessions typically last 30 to 90 minutes, and patients may need up to five treatment sessions, depending on the type and location of the tumor.

What Side Effects Are Associated With Cyberknife?

Most patients have a pain-free experience, but the treatment sometimes causes swelling and some damage to nearby tissues. Generally, however, patients are able to go home with a driver within an hour of the treatment and can return to their normal activities on the following day.

The benefit of Cyberknife is that the treatment is less traumatic for the body than surgery. In contrast to traditional radiation therapy, which involves low doses of radiation dispensed over long periods of time, the Cyberknife system can treat tumors in only a few visits.

What Patients Are Good Candidates For Cyberknife?

Radiosurgery techniques are frequently indicated when patients have tumors that would be very hard to remove with surgery, such as tiny tumors deep in the brain. Patients who are very elderly or in poor medical condition and would not tolerate surgery well are also good candidates for this treatment.

Sometimes radiosurgery is used after surgery to target any cancerous tissue that remains, and sometimes patients choose Cyberknife because they do not want to have traditional surgery. Only your doctor can tell you if Cyberknife is an appropriate treatment option for you.

Cyberknife For Spinal Tumors

The Cyberknife system offers unique advantages for patients with spine cancer. Because of their location, spine tumors move when the patient breathes. Because Cyberknife is able to track the movement of the tumor during the treatment, the patient is allowed to breathe normally during treatment, and the robotic machine is still able to avoid delivering radiation to nearby tissues.

A team of specialists, including a neurosurgeon, orthopedic surgeon, radiation oncologist, radiation therapist and medical physicist, will work together to plan your treatment and care for you during your therapy.

Provided at Cyberknife centers throughout the country, Cyberknife offers an effective treatment alternative for many patients with both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.

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