What is Cyberknife Radiosurgery?
Cyberknife Radiosurgery is non-invasive form of surgery that uses high doses of radiation to treat a broad range of tumours throughout the body, including the prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas, and kidney. Cyberknife delivers about 1400 highly pinpointed beams of radiation to control or destroy the tumour. It has extremely high precision and accuracy.
Cyberknife system comprises of computer-controlled robot that slowly moves around the patient, delivering radiation to the tumor from various angles, which helps to spare surrounding healthy tissues. Each session of treatment lasts for between 30 to 90 minutes, for one to five days.
Cyberknife today, is probably the most popular stereotactic radiosurgery.
How Cyberknife works
Cyberknife does not require surgery & there is no cutting or anaesthesia required. Cyberknife is comprised of a compact linear accelerator – a machine that generates a radiation beam- attached to a highly maneuverable robotic arm.
- The machine’s robotic arms move around you, aiming & firing targeted radiation beams from numerous angles.
- The imaging & tracking system continually updates the tumour location throughout the treatment procedure compensating for patient movement like breathing.
- Treatment session typically lasts for 30-90 minutes.
- During CyberKnife procedure, patient will lie on a treatment table while the machine’s robotic arm moves around his or her body delivering high doses of radiation directly to their tumor with pinpoint precision minimizing exposure to the surrounding healthy tissues.
Benefits of Cyberknife Radiosurgery
- No anesthesia is required.
- Exceptional accuracy, spares healthy tissues & organs.
- No invasive head or body frame.
- Immediate return to normal activity.
What makes cyberknife treatment accurate
- Levels of accuracy of Cyberknife are sub millimetric, and added with the benefits of real time image guidance & tumor motion tracking, Cyberknife can aim targets with pinpoint accuracy.
- Cyberknife has capabilities of automatic error correction. It continuously corrects for any changes in patient position during the treatment, thus allowing patient to lie comfortably during the treatment.
- The availability of real time image guidance & tumor motion tracking helps us to treat tumors in moving areas with the greatest accuracy- by treating in synchrony.
- The use of robotic arm in treatment helps in treatment from angles not easily accessible by conventional radiotherapy machines.
Will the patient have any incision or cut on the body?
Cyberknife treatment is not done through any incision or cut on the body. It is called Cyberknife because of the precision like a knife. The treatment is delivered from a distance, & no form of incision or cut is needed.
How is the patient prepared before Cyberknife treatment?
The medical team may ask for additional investigations like MRI, CT scan depending on the area to be treated. Moreover, in certain situations, the team may suggest the implantation of markers called fiducials which can help identify & track the tumor during the treatment, adding to the precision of treatment.
How many sessions are administered in Cyberknife?
The number of sessions depends on the diagnosis, area to be treated & the presence of critical normal structures nearby. It is decided and discussed by the medical teamwith the patient at the time of first consultation. In case of treatment offered by stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), it is single treatment. If it is stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT), it may be multiple sessions, given one treatment per day. Even in the case of multiple sessions, the total number of treatments ranges from 3-6.
Will the patient feel any pain or shock or heat during treatment?
Cyberknife is a painless treatment. The patient will not feel any pain, heat or shock during the treatment.
Will the patient be able to go home on the same day after treatment in Cyberknife?
The patient will be able to go back home on the same day after treatment. Cyberknife treatments are generally OPD based.
Will the patient have any side effects after Cyberknife treatment?
Side effects are generally mild and minimal. Medical team will discuss the possible side effects with the patient during the initial consultation.