What Is The CyberKnife System?
The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. The treatment delivers beams of high dose radiation with extreme accuracy in a non-invasive manner. It is a pain-free non-surgical option. This session can last from less than one hour to four hours, depending on the size and location of the affected area. CyberKnife Radiosurgery is not a surgery in the conventional sense. It is a treatment, not a surgical procedure, because no incision is required.
Who Needs Radiotherapy?
Patients who have abnormal blood vessels in their brains may need this treatment. Examples of abnormal vessels include arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), trigeminal neuralgia and arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs). It's also utilized for patients with brain tumors, acoustic neuromas, pituitary tumors, and brain metastases.
Radiotherapy is used when tumors are deep within the brain and difficult to remove via surgery. It's suggested for patients who cannot have surgery (e.g., the elderly, or those too weak or sick). Also, it is can be used after conventional surgery to treat any remaining abnormal tissues.
How Is CyberKnife Radiosurgery Performed?
The following steps outline a CyberKnife radiosurgery procedure:
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 will slowly move 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.