The CyberKnife treats patients through a process called stereotactic radiosurgery, a noninvasive method of treating tumors with high-dose radiation precisely aimed from different angles. It is the world’s only robotic radiosurgery system, comprised of a compact linear accelerator – a machine that generates a radiation beam – attached to a highly maneuverable robotic arm. While the name may conjure images of knives and scalpels, CyberKnife treatment does not require surgery. Treatment is painless and noninvasive, so there’s no cutting or anesthesia required.
CyberKnife destroys cancerous and benign tumors with high-dose, highly accurate radiation beams while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. This pinpoint accuracy allows our physicians to treat difficult-to-reach tumors that may have been impossible to treat in the past. By delivering high-dose radiation from precise angles, CyberKnife also significantly reduces treatment time for the patient. With CyberKnife, the duration of treatment is reduced to one to five treatments over a course of one to five days depending on the size, location and type of tumor. In contrast, traditional radiation therapy is typically delivered for five days a week over a period of six to eight weeks.
Most patients go home right after CyberKnife treatment and immediately resume normal activities. There may be side effects, such as fatigue, but these are usually minor and temporary.