CyberKnife® is a high-end system of Stereotactic Radiosurgery, which allows radiotherapy to be accurate and flexible.
How does it work?
First, a map of the target position is made by the doctors of the radiotherapy team. At the beginning of the treatment a robotic arm moves along with a Linear Accelerator, in accordance with the treatment plan.
With one digital image the fixed position of the target is confirmed and the first radiation beam is delivered by a Linear Accelerator. The second, the third and every subsequent radiation beam is delivered to the region from different angles, but before each radiation beam the system confirms the patient’s position.
If the patient moves, this system is able to detect the target again by using real-time images, which coincide with the images of initial treatment plan and thus identifies the patient’s position and the tumor repeating if it is necessary throughout the entire duration of treatment.
Finally, with great precision, high dose of radiation is delivered to the targeted region whilst healthy tissue remains completely protected.
The most important feature of this radiotherapy system is the ability to cover the whole target – tumor of any size, from different directions and in multiple radiation beams no matter how extraordinary and incredible it sounds. In this way CyberKnife is capable to treat tumors and other pathological changes when other radiosurgical systems are no able to do so.
CyberKnife® is the first system approved by FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for Stereotactic Radiosurgery of all parts of the body (cranial and peripheral)
Head – Neck
- Vascular malformations
- Acoustic neuroma
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Primary and recurrent benign or malignant brain tumors
- Pituitary tumor (adenoma)
- Nasopharyngeal cancer
- Benign and malignant spinal tumors – primary or metastatic.
- Vascular malformations
Thorax (the chest)
- Neoplasms of the lung – primary or metastatic.
- Neoplasms of the liver – primary or metastatic.
- Neoplasms of the pancreas
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Prostate cancer
- And other tumors and pathological changes anywhere in the body where radiotherapy can be applied.
Protection of healthy tissue during Stereotactic Radiosurgery
As the region that is treated with classical radiotherapy is much larger, a great amount of healthy cells, tissues and organs located in the vicinity of the treated target is damaged. The result is the toxicity from less to severe amounts.
In Stereotactic Radiosurgery, the therapy is focused with great precision on the target hence the vulnerability of surrounding healthy cells and tissues is minimal and almost nonexistent. Therefore the toxicity does not occur.
During the treatment with CyberKnife , and in the case that a large target region needs to be radiated (a few centimeters), the precision of radiation is such that there is minimal dispersion of radiation on surrounding tissues and therefore the toxicity is minimal.
Advantages of CyberKnife for a patient
- It does not require the application of methods for immobilizing a patient’s head
- No surgical incisions and scars on the skin
- Minimal and nonexistent possibility of infection
- No risk of hemorrhage and blood loss
- High accuracy of radiation beam direction on the diseased tissue completely reduces the risk for surrounding healthy tissues
- Reduced risk of complications compared to other treatment methods
- Minimum recovery time
- Treatment can be applied on tumors where due to their position the surgery is not possible
- Less maltreatment and pain
- Reduced visits to hospital facilities
- Does not require hospitalization
- Better quality of life during and after the treatment