What is Cyberknife?
Cyberknife is a robotic stereotactic radiosurgery technology. It is used to treat cancer and benign tumours in all parts of body without surgical intervention by using radiosurgical treatment that is based on interaction between a digital imaging system and robot-guided radiation technique.
Cyberknife is often used to slow down the growth of small, deep tumors that are hard to remove during the conventional surgery. Cyberknife is used both as an alternative to surgical operation and as the only treatment option for patients for whom surgical operation is not possible for a variety of reasons. It is an opportunity for those who suffer from localized tumors that are currently still untreatable. The newly developed design of the Cyberknife system enables treatments not only in the area of the brain but also throughout the spine and spinal cord or in other parts of the body.
During nearly 30 years since the technology was developed, the Cyberknife system has helped people throughout the whole world.
Are you diagnosed with cancer?
About the procedure
In order to identify the diagnosis and to determine the required treatment, several examinations are necessary – usually patients have computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, sometimes positron emission tomography (PET/CT) to examine skull, chest, abdomen organs, spine and other separate parts of the body. Your consulting physician will indicate what types of examinations are required.
The Cyberknife System uses a robot that bends and moves around the patient. It can approach the target from hundreds of unique angles, significantly expanding the possible positions from which radiation beams can be delivered. Before delivering the radiation beam, the Cyberknife System verifies the exact tumor position and adjusts the robot to precisely target the tumor. This ensures that radiation is delivered to where the tumor is, not to where it was moments before.
During the treatment the patient lies on a table beside machine that delivers radiation; robotic arm, controlled by computer, moves around the body and focuses radiation on the treatable area. Each treatment takes about 30 minutes to 2 hours and one may be required to receive more than one treatment session – usually no more than 5 sessions.This minimizes damage to the nearby healthy tissue.
SRS is more likely to be recommended for people who are too high in risk for conventional surgery. This may be due to age or health problems. SRS may be recommended because the area to be treated is too close to vital structures inside the body.
Which tumours can be treated with Cyberknife technology?
Tumours should not be too big (optimal up to 3 cm and max 6 cm in diameter depending on the organ system) and should be clearly definable. If these criteria can be identified, the Cyberknife radiosurgery can be used to treat benign and malignant tumors in such body parts as:
- brain (benign, malignant tumor and metastasis from other body tumors, bening-acoustic neuroma, meningioma, pituitary adenoma; malignant – relapse of glioblastoma, astrocytoma and other glial tumors; );
- lungs (non-smallcell lung cancer and bronchogenic carcinoma, solitary lung metastasis);
- liver (liver metastasis, primary liver carcinoma);
- pancreas (pancreatic cancer);
- spine (benign and malignant spine tumors, oligo metastasis in spine from other body tumors, tumors of spinal cord, meningioma, neurinoma, neurofibromatosis, ependimoma, astrocytoma, hemangioblastoma, recurring tumor;
- prostate (primary and recurring tumor, oligo metastatic prostate cancer);
- bone cancer and metastases (chest, spine, skull);
- kidneys (renal carcinoma and metastasis of kidney cancer in brain, spine, lung, or liver);
- breast (metastasis of mammary gland carcinoma in the brain, lung, liver and other parts of the body);
- head and neck area (nasopharynx cancer, throat and tongue cancer, neck lymph node metastasis).
Cyberknife radiosurgery can also be used as a treatment for other non-oncological diseases:
- vascular problems, for example, arteriovenous malformations (changes to vascular wall tone and structure), cavernous angioma;
- trigeminal neuralgia (sharp spastic pain in the facial area).
Advantages of Cyberknife treatment
The most important advantages – Cyberknife is painless, treats inoperable tumors and the risk of complications is low. These are the main reasons to choose Cyberknife radiosurgery over traditional surgery.
- Non-invasive and pain free procedure. It does not involve surgical intervention. CyberKnife radiosurgery does not require anesthesia – also, no incisions are made, no blood is lost.
- Treats inoperable tumors. The high level of precision of Cyberknife technology allows to treat tumors that previously were considered to be inoperable because of their location or other characteristics.
- Minimal risk of complications. After Cyberknife treatment, fewer complications have been observed and a higher quality of living is obtained in comparison to after surgical procedures or after classic (convencional) radiation therapy.
- Healthy tissues are preserved. The tumor is targeted with radiation from various angles with the precision of a tenth of a millimeter, which allows it to work specifically on tissues that are affected by the disease, to the minimum reducing the damage of the surrounding tissue.
- Short overall treatment time. It takes only 1 to 2 weeks to do the procedure for manipulations and preparation – during this time you don’t have to stay in clinic. You can go home or enjoy the recreational options offered by Sigulda. You can go back to your regular activities the next day if there are no complications.
- Comfort during the procedure. During the procedure we use a lightweight net-type mask for your head or a vest for the body, which allows to breathe and move. With the help of the breathing monitoring system during the procedure, even the smallest movements of the patient can be fixated and adapted to. Therefore, the patient who is treated, for example, for lung or liver cancer, can relax and breathe freely. In comparison – during treatment with other radiation equipment, for example, GammaKnife, a headstereotactic “frame” is used to fixate the head and to limit its movement.
Cyberknife compared to other treatment methods
Cyberknife vs gamma knife
Gamma Knife, compared to Cyberknife, can be used only for small tumours in the brain. Gamma Knife treatment also requires fixed helmet to be attached which makes the procedure less comfortable. Cyberknife compared to Gamma Knife, can beam radiation in any part of human body and can adapt to body movements unlike any other radiosurgical device
Cyberknife vs radiotherapy
Traditional radiotherapy, compared to Cyberknife, is less accurate and usually can’t react to the patient or tumour movements. Due to less accuracy there are more post-radiation reactions after treatment in some cases. Radiotherapy also requires frames for fixation and sometimes – anaesthesia. Radiotherapy is usually performed in a long schedule (from 2 to 6 weeks of treatment).
Cyberknife vs tomotherapy
Tomotherapy, also known as the helical tomotherapy (HT), is a radiation therapy which delivers the radiation by slices. Tomotherapy is more accurate, but still the predominantly radiotherapeutic method of treatment. Usually the course of treatment is from 10 to 35 fractions treatment.
Cyberknife vs proton therapy
Proton therapy is one of the treatment methods similar to conventional radiotherapy but it is very precise and cause minimal side effects. Proton therapy uses protons to cure cancer, and this therapy is also known as the proton beam therapy. Proton radiotherapy is often used to treat certain specific tumors, such as chordoma, chondroma, sarcoma, but it is very expensive. Proton therapy can be used to treat children.
If you are searching for an appropriate cancer cure, it is more than possible that Cyberknife is the right option. But to be sure about that, it is necessary for us to see your medical examination results.