What Is CyberKnife?

Stereotactic radiosurgery is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy radiation on a small part of the body. Two commonly used stereotactic radiosurgery tools are the CyberKnife and the NanoKnife. 

CyberKnife is a non-invasive, painless, and one of the most advanced radiation therapy forms that provide precise and targeted radiation beams to kill cancer cells. It is used to provide accurate and effective treatment for benign and malignant tumours anywhere in the body.

The CyberKnife is particularly helpful in treating tumours that are difficult to access by conventional surgical techniques or are inoperable due to complexity or proximity to vital structures. It has been in use for a couple of decades and is currently being used in clinical trials to treat different cancers with precision. A typical CyberKnife treatment may take one to five sessions, depending upon the type and size of your cancer.

Types of Cancers Treated With CyberKnife

CyberKnife is used to treat the following conditions:

  • Meningiomas
  • Gliomas
  • Arteriovenous malformations
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Acoustic neuromas
  • Pituitary tumours
  • Glomus tumours
  • Lung tumours
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Spinal tumours
  • Cancers of the liver, kidney, prostate and sarcoma
  • Metastatic cancers

Who Is A Candidate For CyberKnife?

CyberKnife is a preferred choice of treatment for different types of cancers, but not everyone is a candidate for it. You may be advised CyberKnife in the following situations:

  • You have a tumour or lesion that cannot be treated using surgery or traditional radiation therapies.
  • You have undergone radiation treatments previously.
  • When a precise and non-surgical treatment approach is required
  • When general anaesthesia is not possible due to the patient’s medical condition

CyberKnife Procedure

CyberKnife produces targeted high-energy radiation to destroy tumour cells. Here’s how it works:

 

  • Multiple x-ray cameras are synced with powerful software to align with the tumour’s exact location.
  • A flexible robotic arm is used to shoot the rays precisely from over 1400 angles, including difficult, hard-to-reach areas of the body.
  • Due to the precise nature of the beams, these radiations cause little or no damage to the surrounding healthy tissues.

 

Before your CyberKnife treatment, your doctor will perform a series of imaging tests like MRI and CT Scan that helps them get a clear view of the specific treatment.  

 

  • A customised mask or body mould may be required to minimise movement, depending upon the area of the body.
  • To treat non-head and neck tumours using the CyberKnife system, fiducial seed markers are implanted in or around the tumour. These seeds enable CyberKnife to track the tumour throughout the treatment.
  • You are required to wear comfortable clothing during the treatment. Feel free to carry your earphones to listen to your favourite music and relax during the procedure.
  • You will be asked to lie on the stable and stay still throughout the procedure.
  • Once the treatment is completed, an assessment is done, following which you can go home.

 

You can resume your routine and activities within 24 hours of treatment completion.

Benefits of Using CyberKnife In Cancer Treatment

CyberKnife has many benefits over traditional radiation therapies, making it a preferred choice for treating many types of benign and malignant tumours. These include:

  • It causes fewer complications and is less risky
  • Increases accessibility to tumours that are unreachable by surgery or regular radiation therapy
  • The procedure is completed quickly
  • Non-invasive and does not require anaesthesia
  • It does not require a hospital stay
  • Prevents damage to surrounding healthy tissues

Side Effects of CyberKnife

CyberKnife is a safe procedure with high success rates. However, some side effects may appear, usually mild, based on the frequency and severity of the treatment and your cancer type. Some immediate effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness

 

These side effects are usually mild and resolve by themselves. Some delayed symptoms include:

  • Swelling in the area being treated
  • Inflammation
  • Scarring at the treatment site

 

Some uncommon effects of CyberKnife treatment include skin reddening and vomiting. The side effects you may experience also depend upon the area of the body being treated. Speak to your doctor about any concerns about your treatment side effects.

Contact Us

If you need to speak to a specialist about undergoing a CyberKnife procedure for your cancer or seek a second opinion, reach out to us right away!

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