How Does CyberKnife Therapy Work? The Science Behind It

by | Apr 28, 2023 | Alternative Cancer Treatment Florida, CyberKnife for Cancer Treatment

When you hear the word CyberKnife, you can conjure up all sorts of images – especially when you hear the word CyberKnife in connection with cancer.

So, let’s demystify the treatment and break it down so you won’t be intimidated, and you’ll come to understand why it works so well to destroy certain types of cancerous and noncancerous tumors.

First things first: What is CyberKnife? Do not Let the Name Fool You.

Despite having the word knife in its name, with CyberKnife treatment there is absolutely no cutting and no knives. The treatment is completely noninvasive.

CyberKnife is a form of stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT. It uses image-guided robotic technology to deliver targeted radiation directly to the cancer or tumor without harming healthy surrounding tissue.

“CyberKnife is the most refined way to target a tumor and minimize the dose to normal tissue,” according to Dr. Mark Pomper, board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of the CyberKnife Center of Miami, the premiere radiation center for cancer treatment in South Florida.

According to a video by Accuray, the maker of CyberKnife, you can think of CyberKnife treatment as a laser-focused radiation beam that moves with the tumor so only the tumor is targeted, and surrounding tissue is not harmed.

On its website, Accuray shows each component of the CyberKnife to help patients understand how the treatment works, including how the fully robotic radiation system combined with real-time imaging accurately treats tumors – including those of the brain, pancreas, prostate, liver, lung and spine.

How Does CyberKnife Therapy Work?

This video from the experts at CyberKnife Miami, details the exact way CyberKnife therapy works. For patients, it’s not a difficult experience. Their only job is to lay down on the treatment table and let the CyberKnife do all the work as the system takes real-time images of the tumor to accurately track it with your every breath.  Then the robotic arm delivers pinpointed radiation directly to the tumor. If you move, the robotic arm makes real-time adjustments to continue targeting only the tumor preventing damage to healthy tissue or nearby vital organs.

Since CyberKnife is so precise and delivers higher doses of radiation it requires many fewer treatment sessions than conventional radiation. With CyberKnife, most patients need one-to-five treatments as opposed to 25-to-40 with conventional radiation. 

The fewer treatments and time spent going to and from cancer treatment centers is drastically reduced, which is why more and more patients are choosing CyberKnife therapy. They just want to get it over with and on with their lives and that is our goal too.

Another big advantage, the treatments are pain free. There is no cutting and most often little to no downtime.  

Depending on the type of cancer being treated, there can be side effects, which may include fatigue and nausea, but this clears up quickly. Your medical history and type of cancer being treated may make you more prone to side effects. However, the experts at CyberKnife Miami will be at your side every step of the way, taking precautions to prevent side effects and treat or ease any that may occur, which is rare and most often can be treated with over-the-counter medications.

 “Accurate and precise delivery helps minimize irradiation of the healthy tissues surrounding tumors and potentially the risk of side effects, which may lead to better quality of life for the patient both during and after treatment,” Accuray states.  

South Florida Cancer Treatment Center

CyberKnife Miami opened its doors 20 years ago and was the first CyberKnife center to open in the Southeast United States.

We treat patients from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties as well as patients from across the country and the world. 

Because of our team’s vast experience, we can and do take on some of the toughest cases. It is also the reason many doctors refer their patients to us. If yours does not ask him or her, why not?

We are also called upon to teach doctors and radiation therapists at other cancer and medical centers how to use CyberKnife technology to achieve the best results possible for patients.

We always put patients first. It is about getting them treated with the least disruption to their lives. CyberKnife was developed to treat cancer faster, safer and more effectively. That mission has been accomplished.

Worldwide CyberKnife technology has been used for more than two decades to treat millions of patients with excellent results. At CyberKnife Miami we have treated thousands – even patients who were told there was nothing more that could be done for them by other doctors at other cancer centers, or told they couldn’t have any more radiation, and even patients whose tumors were deemed inoperable, like lung cancer patients and lymph node cancer patients.

The bottom line, often times more can be done, especially with CyberKnife technology. Even if the cancer has spread and we can’t cure your cancer, it can often be managed like a disease, like diabetes, buying patients the most precious gift of all. The gift of more time.

CyberKnife treatment can be done on its own or in combination with other therapies depending on the type of cancer.  

If you would like to find out more about cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our cancer website now for more information