what is cyberkife®
CyberKnife® is the newest state-of-the-art technology available in the war against cancer. Created by Accuray of California, it uses technology originally designed to track cruise missiles. Consisting of a robotic arm system that continuously tracks, detects, and corrects for tumor and patient movement throughout the treatment, CyberKnife® delivers hundreds of beams of focused radiation from up to 200 different angles. These focused beams of radiation destroy a tumor with sub-millimeter accuracy without making a single incision.
what does it treat
CyberKnife® can treat both benign and malignant tumors in the head—both extra cranial and intracranial—neck, lung, pancreas, prostate or pelvic organs, spine, kidneys, liver, melanoma, recurrent diseases and previously treated areas.
how does it work
CyberKnife® uses a lightweight linear accelerator to generate radiation. A robotic arm moves around the patient and an image-guidance system tracks the target tumor, even while the patient is breathing. Gold “seeds” about the size of a grain of rice are implanted in the tumor. These “seeds” guide a cone of radiation about the width of a pencil, toward the target.
benefits to the patient
CyberKnife® is an option for inoperable or surgically complex tumors. Extremely accurate targeting means higher doses of radiation can be used, offering patients a better chance for cure, with little to no surrounding tissue damage. Where once a frame was required to immobilize the head during radiation treatments, CyberKnife® now can treat anywhere in the body without confining the patient. CyberKnife® can also reduce treatment time from five to eight weeks to one to five days and patients can undergo their treatments on an outpatient basis, without disrupting their daily activities. CyberKnife® also gives patients who have already been treated with external beam radiation and have a recurrence of cancer, an option to be treated with pinpoint radiation, rather than irradiating an entire area. The CyberKnife® procedure is covered by most insurance and approved by Medicare.