Treatment Process

CyberKnife treatments involve a team approach in which several specialists participate.

Prior to the procedure, the patient is imaged using a high-resolution CT scan, to determine the size, shape, and location of the tumor.

Following scanning, the image data is digitally transferred to the CyberKnife System’s workstation, where the treatment planning begins.

A qualified clinician then uses the CyberKnife software to generate a treatment plan. The plan is used to match the desired radiation dose to the identified tumor location while limiting radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue.

Once the treatment plan has been developed, the patient is ready to undergo the CyberKnife procedure. After arriving at the CyberKnife Center, patients are comfortably positioned on the treatment table. Then, the CyberKnife System’s computer-controlled robot slowly moves around the patient to the various locations from which it will deliver radiation to the tumor.

Each treatment session will last between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on the type of tumor being treated. If treatment is being delivered in stages, patients will need to return for additional treatments over several days (typically no more than five), as determined by the patients’ doctor. Patients may experience some minimal side effects, but those often go away within the first week or two after treatment.


 

Treatment Setup

Fiducial Placement

If you are undergoing CyberKnife treatment for a spinal or body (non-head) lesion, you may require a short outpatient procedure to implant several small metal markers (fiducials) near the tumor to enable the CyberKnife system to track tumor position throughout treatment. Lesions in the head do not require this step.

Making a Mask or Body Mold

A custom soft mask (for head/neck treatments) or body mold is formed and used to help minimize movement during the treatment and ensure your comfort. The process is simple and painless.

Imaging

You will receive a CT scan in order to pinpoint the exact location of the tumor. The CT data is then downloaded to the CyberKnife treatment-planning computer where physicians will use advanced software to customize the number, intensity, and direction of radiation beams the robot will send to the target. You will not need to be present during this last step.


 

Treatment Delivery

Arriving

Wear comfortable clothing and no jewelry. Try to relax, knowing this will be a painless procedure. Feel free to bring a list of questions to ask the CyberKnife team. The team is  there to ensure your comfort and safety.

Positioning

You will be asked to lie on the treatment table and be fitted with the custom mask or body mold made earlier during the set-up process. Generally, no sedation or anesthesia is required because the treatment is painless.

Painless Treatment

During treatment, you will need to lie still. You will be awake throughout the entire procedure, which typically lasts 30-90 minutes depending on the complexity of your tumor. The image-guidance system periodically takes x-ray images and compares them to data from the CT scan to ensure the radiation is targeted accurately to the tumor.

Completion

If you are undergoing single-session radiosurgery treatment, your treatment is complete, and you can usually leave the facility and resume normal activity immediately. If your physician prescribes a "hypo-fractionated" or staged treatment, you will need to return for additional daily treatments (you will need to return for no more than four additional treatment days).

Follow-Up

As with any radiosurgery or radiation therapy procedure, follow-up imaging and physician consultation is required to monitor your tumor's progress.

Videos

CyberKnife Part 1

CyberKnife Part 2

CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery

CyberKnife: Brain Tumor Part 1

CyberKnife: Brain Tumor Part 2

CyberKnife: Lung Cancer

CyberKnife

  

Treatment Comparisons

The most common radiosurgery systems include Gamma Knife Systems, modified linear accelerators (Linac), and the CyberKnife. Although all of these systems are all capable of delivering the desired radiation dose to a specific area, there are major differences that could significantly impact the treatment and clinical outcome.

 

CyberKnife®

GammaKnife®

Other Linac Systems

Dedicated to radiosurgery

Yes

Yes

No

Does conventional radiotherapy and/or IMRT

No

No

Yes

Area treatable with radiosurgical precision

Entire Body

Brain and Skull

Varies (depending on system)

Rigid brain or body frame required

No

Yes

Yes

Lesion size limitation

No

Yes

No

Capable of preserving adjacent tissues by dividing treatments

Yes

No

Yes

Capable of tracking lesion in real time to follow motion caused by organ movement and breathing with radiosurgical precision

Yes

N/A

No

IMRT dosimetry method

Yes

No

Yes

IGRT set-up visualization

Yes

No

Yes

Capable of conformally and homogeneously treating a non-spherical target volume > 3.5cm

Yes

No

Yes

Capable of fractionated radiosurgery to better preserve critical adjacent tissue

Yes

No

Yes

Capable of real-time sub-millimeter translational and rotational beam adaptation to target volume motion

Yes

N/A

No

Accurate Cancer Treatment

CyberKnife can treat benign tumors and many types of cancer, including, brain, head and neck, liver, lung, pancreatic, and prostate cancer, metastases, and spinal tumors.

Robotic Cancer Surgery

The CyberKnife System uses image-guided robotics to precisely destroy cancer tumors and other lesions. This precision spares normal, healthy tissue, while the higher dosage offers improved chances for cure from cancer. The CyberKnife can treat inoperable and hard to reach cancerous tumors.

We Accept Most Insurance Carriers

 

 

We work to obtain pre-authorization with all insurance companies.