During CyberKnife treatment, you will lie comfortably on a treatment table while the machine’s robotic arm moves around you, aiming and firing targeted radiation beams from numerous angles. The cumulative dose of radiation kills tumor cells while minimizing exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue.
The CyberKnife has an advanced imaging and tracking system that continually updates the tumor location throughout the treatment procedure, even compensating for normal patient movements like breathing and ensuring the radiation beams are always locked on the tumor during treatment.
Most treatment sessions typically last 30 – 60 minutes. Depending on your specific condition, you may need a custom-fitted mesh facemask or body mold made of soft material. The fitting procedure is painless. Unlike most radiosurgery systems, CyberKnife is able to position the patient without the use of an invasive head frame, commonly used in older linear accelerator systems as well as the Gamma Knife to stabilize a patient’s skull for the treatment of tumors located within the head.
Before beginning CyberKnife treatment, some patients may need small metal markers known as fiducials implanted at the tumor site to help aim the CyberKnife’s radiation beams. Implanting the markers is an outpatient procedure and usually takes about an hour.