by | Feb 6, 2015 | CyberKnife to Treat Cancer

Though its name conjures images of scalpels and surgery, the CyberKnife Robotic Radio-surgery System involves no cutting. For many patients, CyberKnife treatment offers a non-invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and benign conditions.

The CyberKnife System is composed of a radiation delivery device, which is mounted on a robotic arm. The flexibility of the robotic arm enables the CyberKnife System to deliver radiation to tumors anywhere in the body, including the brain, head and neck, spine, lung, prostate, liver, pancreas, and other soft tissues.

The CyberKnife System utilizes sophisticated software and advanced imaging to track tumor and patient movement and adjusts beams of high-dose radiation to ensure treatment is delivered with the highest degree of accuracy possible.

With the CyberKnife System, patients complete treatment in one to five days, compared to the nine weeks of daily treatment it takes to complete a course of conventional radiation therapy. It provides a pain-free, non-surgical option for patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors.


Despite the best attempts of clinicians, it is difficult to prevent patients and their internal anatomy from moving during radiation treatments.

The CyberKnife System is a radiation treatment system that keeps patient movement and comfort in mind. The innovative design effectively addresses patient and tumor movement during treatment and eliminates the need for less sophisticated techniques, additional procedures and patient discomfort.

Instead of restricting patient movement, the CyberKnife System’s leading technology is designed to move with the tumor. This unique capability results in the delivery of more accurate, higher doses of radiation to the tumor, avoiding the surrounding healthy tissue. This reduces side effects commonly associated with conventional radiation therapy treatments.

Benefits of CyberKnife Treatments

  •  Pain-free
  •  Non-invasive
  •  No anesthesia required
  •  Outpatient procedure
  •  Exceptional accuracy spares healthy tissue and organs
  •  Minimal or no recovery time
  •  Rapid return to normal activity
  •  No invasive head or body frame
  •  No breath holding or “respiratory gating” required during treatment

CyberKnife patients routinely report minimal side effects from their treatment, and in most cases, may immediately return to their normal daily activities. Speak with your doctor about possible side effects you may encounter.


With the CyberKnife System, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to patient care.

The CyberKnife System’s innovative design and use of the newest technology enables your radiation oncologist to tailor treatments specific to your tumor(s) shape in order to ensure the best possible outcome. The unique features of the CyberKnife System that allow for individualized treatments include:

Real-Time Image Guidance – The CyberKnife System uses imaging software to track and continually adjust treatment for any movement of the patient or tumor. Conventional radiation delivery systems may require patients to hold their breath during treatment delivery. Other radio-surgery systems may rely on the use of rigid head frames that are screwed into the patient’s skull to minimize motion. In contrast, the CyberKnife System allows you to breathe normally and remain comfortable during your treatments.

Unlimited Flexibility & Freedom – The CyberKnife System’s robotic maneuverability allows your radiation oncologist to deliver highly individualized treatment. With its flexible robotic arm, the CyberKnife clinician can select from thousands of different angles from which to deliver radiation treatments. A typical CyberKnife treatment is comprised of 150 to 200 beams, each coming from a unique angle.

This is a significant advancement over traditional static or fixed radiation delivery systems, which is typically limited to only seven to twelve discrete beams and requires the patient’s position to be manually adjusted to deliver radiation from additional angles.

The CyberKnife System can treat moving tumors with pinpoint accuracy unmatched by other radiosurgery systems. This is especially important when treating tumors that move with any bodily function, which can range from predictable movements caused by breathing to unpredictable movements such as a gas bubble moving through the rectum.

The CyberKnife System essentially “paints” your tumor with a high-dose of radiation by targeting the tumor from almost any conceivable angle.

Unrivaled by other technology, the CyberKnife beams are guided by the actual movement of the tumor.

Convenient – Depending on the type of tumor, you will likely need only one to five CyberKnife treatments. Other radiation systems could require dozens of daily treatments spread out over the course of many weeks.

CyberKnife patients routinely report minimal side effects from their treatment and, in turn, minimal disruption in their daily activities.

Patient safety – From design to delivery, patient safety is paramount with any CyberKnife treatment. All CyberKnife components work in unison to ensure the safest possible patient experience.


It is up to your medical team to determine whether CyberKnife treatments are right for you. Your doctors will make the decision about whether to treat you with the CyberKnife System based on their extensive clinical experience. Factors that can influence their opinion are the tumor type, location and size, and the extent of the disease. The CyberKnife System is versatile and can treat benign conditions and cancers from early stages to advanced disease and, in some cases, the treatment can be partnered with surgery, chemotherapy and conventional radiation therapy.

Is CyberKnife right for you?  Talk with a CyberKnife expert.

At the CyberKnife Center of Miami our experienced physicians and nurses can offer you the best advice on treatment options.

For more information, please contact us at: 800-204-0455

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
~ Dalai Lama