How Long Can You Live With a Brain Tumor With Advanced Treatments Like CyberKnife

by | May 22, 2024 | Brain Tumor Treatment, Uncategorized

May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month, a good time to share the advanced radiation therapy capabilities of CyberKnife. The CyberKnife Center of Miami is one of the busiest centers providing CyberKnife treatments, and Dr. Mark Pomper Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director at CyberKnife Miami explains why CyberKnife is often the best choice for treating brain tumors on CyberKnife Miami’s YouTube Channel.

“We treat tumors a lot faster, safer and effectively. Because the beams target only the tumor, sparing surrouding tissue from harm, it does a better job at eliminating tumors, with few if any side effects. Because patients require many fewer treatments they can get cancer treatment behind them in much less time, causing the least disruption to their daily lives,” says Dr. Pomper. 

How Does CyberKnife Differ from Conventional Radiation?

Conventional radiation requires going to a cancer center and getting many short treatments every day for several weeks. CyberKnife treatment requires only one to five treatments delivering a much higher dose each day, completing your treatment in 5 to 10 days. CyberKnife delivers hundreds of beams of radiation from all different directions, but it is targeted, hitting only the tumor, making it extremely accurate.

How long can someone live with a brain tumor?
The 5-year relative survival rate for people younger than age 15 is about 75%. For people age 15 to 39, the 5-year relative survival rate nears 72%. The 5-year relative survival rate for people age 40 and older is 21%. Experts measure relative survival rate statistics for a brain tumor every 5 years.
CybeKnife can often extend life. For example, a clinical study of 333 patients using CyberKnife to treat brain tumor metastases found that more than 85% of patients achieved local tumor control at two years post-treatment.
What is the success rate of a CyberKnife brain tumor?
In 87-95% of cases where metastases in brain are treated with CyberKnife, a tumor is expected to stop growing or disappear over next 3 to 6 months after the treatment.

CyberKnife is able to target tumors without radiating the entire brain. “We do a much better job of controlling the tumor and patients experience much fewer side effects because most of the brain is spared. So, you don’t have the long-term side effects,” Dr. Pomper  adds.

Lisa was treated with CyberKnife for a brain tumor and says, “After having Vertigo like symptoms, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor that spread from my lung cancer. Long story short, I was treated with CyberKnife Radiation Therapy for my brain tumor met at CyberKnife Miami. It was a one-time, high dose treatment and it was very successful. I had it done in April 2015 and have had no recurrence, no side effects from treatment and still don’t. Although it can seem scary, it’s a very good and effective treatment and is done quite often.”

Types of Cancers CyberKnife Can Treat

CyberKnife can treat most types of tumors —such as lung and prostate cancer. In some cases, it may be more appropriate to use conventional radiation therapy, but in most cases CyberKnife is the better choice. It’s a much improved radiation therapy treatment. That said, patients should discuss which option is best for their type of cancer with the doctors involved in their treatment plan.

When you’re first diagnosed, unless it’s an emergency, you will need time to figure out what you want to do. The very first time you hear a cancer diagnosis, a lot of people space out, they don’t hear a word that’s been said. That’s why it’s a good idea to bring someone with you when talking to your oncology team. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, over and over again if necessary. Go back to the doctor who made your first diagnosis, ask him or her to refer you to the top cancer specialists in your area. Talk to people who’ve had a similar diagnosis and what they did, and do your own research before making a decision about your treatment. Don’t just go with what your doctor advises. Research all treatment options and talk to those offering the different treatments to see what they have to say.

CyberKnife is State-of-the-Art Radiation Technology

The manufacturer of CyberKnife technology, Accuray built a much better, safer, faster and effective form of radiation therapy. Yet many doctors still don’t know about it, or if they do and their cancer center doesn’t have the technology, chances are they won’t tell you about it. That’s why you have to do your own research. If a doctor tells you CyberKnife is not for you, don’t just take their word for it. Go to a CyberKnife center near you, or call one and talk to them. Chances are you will be happy you did.

It may or may not be the best option for you. The cancer experts at CyberKnife Miami will tell you straight up.

Having CyberKnife as a treatment option has been incredibly rewarding for Dr. Pomper, his team and other medical professionals working in the field of radiation therapy. “Beyond the reward of people coming back, happy and healthy, we’re able to treat a lot of people that otherwise couldn’t be treated. There are a lot of people who can’t go through months of of radiation, they don’t have the time. We treat a lot of folks in one to two weeks,” Dr. Pomper adds. “Additionally, CyberKnife Miami is a free standing cancer treatment center. Patients don’t need a doctor’s referral to see our cancer experts. You can drive right up to our center and walk in the front door without going through a medical maze, or dealing with numerous departments. We handle it all at our center. We make the process of cancer treatment as easy and quickly as possible so you can get back to your life.”

To learn more about CyberKnife, visit our website or call 305-279-2900 to schedule an appointment.