CyberKnife Treatment: The Complete Guide

CyberKnife Treatment: The Complete Guide

CyberKnife, the world’s first and only robotic radiosurgery system, consists of an X-ray generating linear accelerator fixed with a robotic arm that can move in 6 joints with 0.12 mm precision and accuracy. By providing high-dose radiation to focus on the tumor from different angles with exactness and accuracy below millimeters, treatment is equipped with a bloodless and painless procedure without the need for open surgery. Despite its name, the CyberKnife treatment is not an open surgical procedure. The treatment is an easy application that does not require any incision or anesthesia. CyberKnife radiation does not harm healthy tissues while treating malignant or benign tumors with high-dose radiation beams. This important point provides solutions for diseases that were previously impossible to treat. In addition, the side effects are very few and temporary. The duration of treatment is shortened significantly by giving high-dose radiation from different angles. Depending on the size, location, proximity to important tissues and organs, and type of tumor, treatment is usually possible in 1 day. In some special cases, the treatment period may be extended up to 5 days. In conventional radiotherapy, treatment is possible five days a week, for a total of 30 to 40 days in a 6-8 week period. Patients can return to their normal lives by leaving the hospital immediately after the CyberKnife treatment. Here is everything you need to know about this treatment, including answers to the questions such as what is CyberKnife, the CyberKnife cost in various countries, and now the CyberKnife procedure is done.

What is CyberKnife?

So what is a CyberKnife treatment? CyberKnife is a robotic radiosurgery system designed to treat cancer in the whole body. Thanks to this system, radiation beams can be used focally, and cancerous tissues in the brain and body can be treated in high doses. Normal tissues are protected from the effects of radiation. The computer-controlled robot and the treatment device perform the treatment by rotating around the patient and irradiating from hundreds of angles. There are subsystems within the CyberKnife device:
  • The system that locates the tumor under imaging guidance,
  • Computer-controlled robot and robotic patient positioning system.
Basically, CyberKnife is an advanced linear accelerator placed on industrial robots. It is a stereotactic radiosurgery device that uses radiation beams focally and treats cancerous areas in the brain and body, especially those with access problems with high doses of rays. The CyberKnife Radiosurgery System is a 140 kg weight unit placed on a 6-joint industrial robot. It consists of a linear accelerator producing 6 MV X-rays in weight and a robotic patient bed that can move in 6 directions. Unlike classical SRC methods, CyberKnife combines a computer-controlled robot system with a computer-controlled robot system to determine the target’s location and guide with imaging, allowing it to be irradiated to tumors.

What are the CyberKnife Advantages?

  • It is painless.
  • It is not invasive.
  • Anesthesia is not needed.
  • No need for hospitalization.
  • Unmatched accuracy preserves intact tissue and organs surrounding the tumor.
  • There is no convalescence process.
  • Patients can return to their routine life immediately.
  • There is no need for an invasive frame for the head or body.
  • There is no such thing as holding your breath in any way or irradiation at certain intervals of the breath.
Another common question about this procedure is the difference between CyberKnife vs. GammaKnife. Unlike GamaKnife and Truebeam systems, CyberKnife does not require the usage of an invasive frame to prevent movement in the head or body, and the tumor can be tracked.

CyberKnife Treatment Areas

CyberKnife radiosurgery system has two sub-headings: intracranial and extracranial pathologies. Intracranial pathologies consist of vascular pathologies, malignant tumors, benign tumors, and neuropsychiatric pathologies, such as trigeminal neuralgia, epilepsy, cluster headache, Parkinson’s disease, uncontrollable pain, and OCD. Extracranial pathologies include head and neck cancers, lung cancers, liver cancers, pancreatic cancer, soft tissue tumors, spinal tumors, prostate cancer, metastatic cancers, and recurrent cancers. CyberKnife for prostate cancer and CyberKnife for lung cancer are also the most common treatment areas of this procedure.

How is CyberKnife applied in brain tumors?

CyberKnife can be used in all brain lesions and head and neck regions in brain tumors, without limitations of location and size. In addition to single-session high-dose treatments called radiosurgery, it can be used as stereotactic radiotherapy in tumors that are likely to be damaged and close or adjacent to risky organs. CyberKnife for the brain: a device is used in the treatment of benign and malignant brain tumors, metastases, arteriovenous malformations, and some functional diseases. In tumors that could not be treated in the past: For instance, CyberKnife can be used in tumors around the eyes that require surgical removal of the eye and spinal cord diseases that are sensitive to radiation. In recurrent tumors in irradiated areas: CyberKnife is also used in patients who have previously received radiotherapy but have relapsed in the same place. In such tumors, the patient can undergo a second application.

How Does the CyberKnife Procedure Work?

CyberKnife is applied to the patient without surgical intervention by placing a plastic mask on the patient’s face. Namely, the patient lies on a robot-controlled table that can move in 6 directions during the treatment. CyberKnife uses an image capture system that locates and tracks the tumor and, if necessary, changes the patient’s position by monitoring changes in case of tumor movement. With this system, lung and liver tumors displaced by respiration are treated with SRC/SRT. During treatment, the patient does not need to hold their breath or breathe regularly. The system compares the patient’s CT and Magnetic Resonance images before the treatment with the snapshots taken during the treatment. The tumor coordinates obtained from here are evaluated instantly with the help of computers, and the radiation dose is adjusted. In this way, it is ensured that the treatment is not affected by the patient’s small movements. While the treatment is limited to the tumor, the damage to the surrounding healthy tissues can be minimized, minimizing the CyberKnife side effects. In the CyberKnife System, which uses a computer-controlled robot, the treatment device completes the treatment by rotating around the patient and irradiating it from hundreds of angles. Accuracy in teleporting targets is measured up to 0.95 mm.

What is the Cost of CyberKnife Procedure?

More and more cancer patients each day prefer international hospitals and oncology clinics for their cancer treatment. Being one of the least invasive and most popular radiotherapy options in oncology treatment, CyberKnife is evolving into a global procedure practiced in countries with advanced healthcare systems. The CyberKnife cost depends on the country, the clinic, and the type of procedure the patient chooses; therefore may vary. For more options of CyberKnife treatment abroad, click here.