What is CyberKnife?
CyberKnife is a radiosurgery system designed to perform cancer treatment with more than millimetric precision. With this system radiation beams are focused to treat cancerous areas of the brain and body with high doses of radiation. At the same time normal tissue can be protected from the effects of radiation at the maximum rate. This computer controlled robot technology can practically dance and twirl around the patient to apply radiation from hundreds of different angles. Basically the CyberKnife is an advanced linear accelerator that has been placed on the robots used in the industry sector. It is a Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRC) device that uses beams of radiation focusing on cancerous areas of the brain and body, especially in hard to reach places, to deliver high doses of radiation while providing maximum protection for normal tissue. SRC, which can be defined as the treatment for a target found through coordinates, means completely destroying a tumor in a single session with high doses of radiation after determining the three dimensional coordinates. When this treatment is delivered in more than one session (generally 3-5 sessions) it is called Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT).
What specialists can perform the CyberKnife treatment?
The specialists that apply the CyberKnife treatments are radiation oncology specialists. However, there are medical physics specialists responsible for the quality of the treatment, radiotherapy technicians who use the treatment devices, nurses assisting doctors who follow the patient’s progress and the patient acceptance authorities who help with all sorts of questions and procedures to make the treatment more effective and comfortable for the patient and provide support to the radiation oncologist.
What types of cancer is CyberKnife used for treating?
CyberKnife can be used in all lesions of the brain and head-neck region without limit for position and size. It is preferred in the treatment of malignant and benign tumors, metastases, arteriovenous malformations and some functional diseases.
- Also it can be used in lung cancers, prostate cancers, head and neck cancers, vertebra tumors, pancreas cancers and metastases that are small in number but cannot be treated with other methods, lung and liver cancers in which the tumor changes places with respiration or intestinal movements, some tumors that were not treatable in the past or only treatable through surgery that left other damage, tumors around the eyes that require the eye to be surgically removed and spinal disorders that are very sensitive to radiation.
- The method is used on patients who have received radiotherapy before but the disease has recurred in the same area.
What does CyberKnife provide to the patient?
CyberKnife is a suitable treatment for lesions that are in small difficult to reach areas that cannot be operated on.
- It is an option for tumors that do not require surgery or require a very complex surgery or are inoperable.
- The system performs the treatment with sensitivity under millimeters and aims to reduce the damage to healthy tissue to a minimum.
- Fast treatment is provided with application sessions varying from 1 to 5 sessions.
- Throughout the treatment period, the tumor and the patient movements can be monitored with the instant image guidance system and the computer controlled robot technology. Immediate changes can be detected and corrected.
- CyberKnife monitors the patient’s respiration and the tumor movements that occur as a result, makes sensitive corrections and applies the radiation accordingly.
- Multiple tumors can be treated simultaneously.
- It is painless and does not require anesthesia.
- The patient does not need to be hospitalized and can return to their daily life very quickly.
Get to know the CyberKnife device
The CyberKnife radiosurgery system is a device designed for cancer treatment. Mainly it is comprised of a linear accelerator weighing 140 kg that produces 6 MV x-rays positioned on an industrial robot with 6 joints and a robotic patient bed that can move in 6 directions. The robot has a sensitivity of 0.2 mm. With the CyberKnife imaging the combination of determining the target and the controlled robot system that provides guidance, tumors are hit with radiation very sensitively.
How is CyberKnife done?
CyberKnife is applied by placing a plastic mask on the patients without a surgical procedure. During the treatment the patient is placed on a robot controlled table that can move 6 dimensionally. An image capturing system that determines the location of the tumor, tracks it and monitors changes in the tumor movements to change the patient position if necessary, sensitively treats lung and liver tumors that become displaced with respiration. During the treatment the patient does not have to hold their breath or breathe regularly. The system compares the computerized tomography and magnetic resonance images taken before the treatment with the instant images that are taken during the treatment. The tumor coordinates that are obtained are instantly assessed with the help of the computer and the radiation dose is adjusted. Therefore the treatment is not affected by small movements by the patient. While the treatment is limited to the tumor, the damage to the surrounding healthy tissue is reduced to a minimum.
CyberKnife is known as the world’s first and only robotic radio surgery system to cure any type of cancer in the whole body with high precision within a millimeter. With this system, cancerous regions in the brain or body can be treated with high doses by using radiation beams focally. Moreover, normal tissue can be protected at maximum levels against side effects of radiation.
CyberKnife is a high tech linear accelerator fitted on robots used in the industrial sector. CyberKnife is the product of a novel technology which uses radiation clusters focally, delivering high doses of treatment to the cancerous areas of the brain and the body, while allowing for maximum protection of normal and healthy tissue. In the computer-controlled robot technology CyberKnife System, the treatment device revolves around the patient as if doing a dance routine and completes the treatment by radiating from hundreds of different angles. Its accuracy in radiating the targeted area is around 0.95 mm.
When treatment takes place over the course of more than one session, it is called “Stereotactic Radiotherapy”; if it is applied in one single fraction, it is called “Stereotactic Radiosurgery. In CyberKnife applications, the target is primarily identified through advanced diagnostic methods. The most superior advantage of this method is its ability to take notice of the movements of the patient and his organs during treatment and radiate accordingly.
The CyberKnife device is routinely equipped with “Image-Guide Radiotherapy” capacity, a method developed in recent years to provide images during treatment. In organ tumors which get displaced with respiration in particular (lung and liver tumors), it is the only device which can actively monitor respiratory movements and provide simultaneous treatment.
In selected patients, CyberKnife is used in the treatment of lung cancers, prostate cancers, head and neck cancers, vertebrae tumours, pancreas cancers and lower numbers of bodily metastases.
The CyberKnife device installed at Maslak Acıbadem Hospital is superior to other devices in the country because it is equipped with an iris collimator and a special deluxe treatment bed. While these new methods increase therapeutic comfort, treatment time is reduced as well.