What is a CyberKnife?
The CyberKnife VSI Robotic Radiosurgery System is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumours anywhere in the body including the Prostate, Lung, Brain, Spine, Liver, Pancreas and Kidney. The treatment delivering beams of high-dose radiation to tumours with extreme accuracy offers new hope to patients worldwide.
Though its name may conjure images of scalpels and surgery, the CyberKnife VSI treatment involves no cutting. In fact, the CyberKnife VSI System is the world’s first and only Robotic Radiosurgery system designed to treat tumours throughout the body non-invasively. It provides a pain-free, non-surgical option for patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumours or who may be looking for an alternative to surgery.
A robotic arm is used in this technology to engage the radiation rays with any part of the body. A Lightweight Linear Accelerator, commonly abbreviated as LINAC, is involved with a Robotic arm, ensuring view from different angles.
How does it help?
The invention of Cyberknife is a great help to all the patients who are dealing with the deadly tumours.
Used to treat
CyberKnife is a good option for ablative dosages that can be used as a valid alternative to surgery. Like Gamma Knife, CyberKnife works on a delivery of very high ablative dosages in a single or small number of sessions with precisions equal to or even more than Conventional Gamma Knife procedure. It has benefits of being non-invasive and does not need anaesthesia or blood loss. Apart from being used as an alternative to surgery, CyberKnife is also indicated for post-op residual or recurrent cases. Also, it can be used as a boost to Conventional Radiation.
CyberKnife is used as a boost, for post-op residual or recurrent cases in malignant gliomas/glioblastomas. Brain tumours that may form good indications for CyberKnife radiosurgery include neuromas arising from other nerves, pituitary adenomas, hemangioblastomas and meningiomas, hemangiopericytomas.
The challenge in treating prostate tumours with radiation is that the prostate moves unpredictably as air passes through the rectum and as the bladder empties and fills. The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System at Medanta is able to overcome this challenge by continuously identifying the exact location of the prostate in real time during the treatment and making active corrections for any movement of the prostate throughout the course of the radiation delivery. During treatment, a patient lays still and breathes normally while the CyberKnife zeroes in on a moving target, the prostate, and irradiates it without harming the surrounding areas. As a result, the procedure is more comfortable for patients, radiation is delivered more accurately and treatments can be completed in three to five sittings.Currently the CyberKnife Radiosurgery System is most frequently used as a single modality for early
Currently, the CyberKnife Radiosurgery System is most frequently used as a single modality for early organ confined prostate cancers or in combination with external beam radiotherapy as a boost, in cases of advanced or intermediate stages of prostate cancer. Depending on the stage of the patient’s prostate cancer Medanta doctors will recommend a treatment plan that best fits the patient’s case.
Treating liver cancer with radiation therapy is a challenge because liver tumours move with respiration. In addition the tissue surrounding the liver tumours is very sensitive and can be damaged easily. The CyberKnife Radiosurgery System at Medanta is able to deliver very high doses of radiation to both primary (before or after a liver transplant or in conjunction with chemotherapy or other treatments) and metastatic liver tumours with extreme accuracy. Working in conjunction with the CyberKnife System is the Synchrony Respiratory Tracking System, which enables the radiation beam to track tumour movement in real time and allows patients to breathe normally during their treatment sessions. With the CyberKnife System, Medanta doctors can zero in on a moving target the liver tumour and irradiate it without harming the healthy surrounding tissue.
Cancerous tumours in spine
CyberKnife is a good option sparing normal spinal cord with more precision than most of the other radiation delivery techniques. For local therapy in spinal tumours, CyberKnife can deliver highly focused radiation-sparing the surrounding normal tissues to a much greater extent.
CyberKnife is useful in treatment in early stage Lung Cancers when it is limited to a small area and can be used as an alternative to Radical Surgery. CyberKnife is also useful in cases of Lung Metastasis or post primary therapy limited residual or recurrent disease, when it can be targeted by the CyberKnife machine, as assessed by your Medanta Oncologist. The benefit of CyberKnife lies in delivery of radical ablative dose that can control the disease in a totally non-invasive mode. It has special capabilities of tracking the tumour while respiration and thus can treat with minimal extra margins and thus decreasing the side effects very efficiently.
Head and Neck Cancer
CyberKnife can be used as boost to small critical area close to the eyes or other vital areas to decrease the dose going to the vital areas and subsequent side effects. CyberKnife is also indicated for post-primary therapy residual and recurrent disease or Neck node residual or Recurrent disease
Sometimes in localised early stage Breast Cancers, CyberKnife can be used as a very short course Radiotherapy that can just target the postoperative surgical site. It is although possible only in selected cases and only treating oncologist can take this decision based on all available records and stage of the patient. CyberKnife can also be used in metastatic cases where the disease has spread from the Breast to other organs like Lung, Brain, Bone or Liver and is still limited that is lesser in number (< 6) or small size (< 6 cm). It cannot be used if there is a gross widespread disease.