What Is CyberKnife Radiation Treatment?

by | Apr 30, 2024 | CyberKnife Treatment, Radiation Therapy, Tumors

When it comes to radiation for cancer, not all treatments are the same. And though different radiation treatments are often lumped together, some treatments – like CyberKnife — a noninvasive radiation system for cancerous and non-cancerous tumors – have distinct advantages.

CyberKnife pinpoints the radiation directly on the tumor with a technology called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). 

The experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami – a state-of-the-art, free-standing radiation treatment center in South Florida – believe once you understand exactly What CyberKnife Radiation Treatment Is, you will see how CyberKnife may help you in your treatment journey.

I feel it is my mission to try to help patients understand that cancer is not a death sentence. We have many weapons to help battle this disease and CyberKnife is one of the most powerful,” says Dr. Mark Pomper, board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Miami.

What Is CyberKnife Radiation Treatment? The Basics

According to Accuray, the maker of CyberKnife, there are more than two decades of research showing how CyberKnife has benefitted patients with prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas, and kidney cancers. It can be an alternative to surgery and can also be used for patients where surgery may not be an option.

The CyberKnife uses a robotic radiation system along with real-time image guidance to move around a patient “to deliver radiation doses from potentially thousands of unique beam angles, significantly expanding the possible positions to concentrate radiation on the tumor while minimizing dose to surrounding healthy tissue,” according to Accuray. 

That means even as patients breathe, cough, or tense their muscles, the CyberKnife system accounts for those movements and stays targeted right on the tumor to minimize any radiation to healthy surrounding tissue. 

Patients needn’t worry about staying absolutely still and require no restraining devices or breath holding. Patients don’t even need anesthesia—the treatment is painless—and patients can eat and drink whatever they want before treatment,” according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Check out this video that shows exactly why motion synchronization matters by comparing other radiation treatments to CyberKnife.

What Is CyberKnife Radiation Treatment? How Does It Work? Here is a Step-By-Step Guide:

  • In general, doctors identify the location and size of the tumor. 
  • A patient lays on a table and breathes normally.
  • The robotic arm of the CyberKnife, follows the tumor as it moves, making treatment more comfortable.
  • Each treatment lasts an hour or less, and most patients need between one and five sessions, which is a lot fewer than with other forms of radiation.

Here’s a video detailing what you can expect during treatment. Keep in mind that this video shows a step-by-step plan for liver or pancreatic cancer. Treatment can vary with other cancers.

What Is CyberKnife Radiation Treatment? The Advantages

Instead of spending weeks going to a cancer center for radiation treatments, with CyberKnife, treatment requires only 1-to-5 treatments, which means your treatment is completed in 10 or fewer days. That is because CyberKnife delivers high doses of targeted radiation.

Here are other advantages of CyberKnife:

  • It is non-invasive
  • There are no risks of infection or prolonged periods of downtime like with surgery.
  • Treatments are outpatient and last 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Side effects are minimal and may include fatigue and nausea. 
  • These side effects can often be treated with over-the-counter medication. If they occur talk to your CyberKnife team about what to take.
  • Patients can often be re-treated with CyberKnife. That means if a tumor returns, a patient can be treated again.
  • Plus, patients have a better quality of life while undergoing treatment.

What Is CyberKnife Radiation Treatment? Ask the Experts at CyberKnife Miami

CyberKnife therapy has been used to treat thousands of patients worldwide, and right here in Miami and South Florida. In fact, at CyberKnife Miami, we often see patients who were turned away from other centers and told there was no hope.

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