CyberKnife is a precise, painless and non-invasive radiation treatment that can be an alternative to radiotherapy or to open surgery in certain cases.
During Cyberknife radiosurgery procedure, the tumour receives a cumulative dose of radiation to control or destroy the tumour cells while radiation exposure to surrounding tissue is minimised. The Cyberknife is able to compensate for patient movement to ensure highly accurate delivery of radiation during treatment.
When patient movement occurs during treatment, the cameras detect the position change, and the robot is able to compensate for the movement by repositioning the LINAC before administering the radiation beam. This process of constantly correcting for beam replacement ensures accurate tumour targeting.
Understanding the Mechanism
The unique mechanism of the Cyberknife provides a non-invasive, surgical-like outcome for lesions of the brain and spine. It is the first and only commercial application of robotic stereotactic radiosurgery for the spine and the spinal cord. Additionally, this technology has the benefit of enabling the Cyberknife system to be used for radiosurgical applications outside the brain as was as for staged radiosurgical procedures.
Cyberknife radiosurgery has also been effectively used to treat selected lung malignancies. The combination of investigational software and hardware with Cyberknife technology can deliver conformal radiation to moving primary and metastatic lung tumours if surgery is not an option. The Cyberknife accommodates lung and tumour motion, enabling modifications to be made so as to deliver a maximal therapeutic dose while minimising surrounding tissues toxicity.
Cyberknife Disease Treatment
The Cyberknife intervention is a great help to patients who are dealing with deadly tumours. Cyberknife is used to treat:
- Non-Cancerous Tumours
- Brain Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Cancerous Spine Tumours
- Lung Cancer
- Head and Neck Cancer
- Breast Cancer
Once patients are assessed and evaluated by the multidisciplinary team, the treatment process commences. The process involves the following three steps:
- Treatment Setup
- Treatment Planning
- Treatment Delivery
Each of these procedures can occur either on the same day or on separate visits. Unlike with conventional stereotactic radiosurgery, the Cyberknife treatment planning procedure does not require that the patient be confined in an acute care setting while the plan is formulated. Patients are able to return home in between treatment planning appointments.
During treatment setup, the team plans the overall details of radiation delivery. If a tumour is being treated, a custom-fit plastic mask is made for the patient. The patient has a CT scan with iodinated dye contrast with the mask in place. The CT data is then integrated into the treatment planning software, and digitally reconstructed demonstrating various patient positions are correlated with images of the target so that the computer can identify in three-dimensional space exactly where the lesion is located.
Cyberknife treatment planning utilizes the clinical experience of both the radiation oncologist and the physicist as well as the power of high-speed computers to determine the volume, dose and pattern of radiation beam target. During the planning phase, the Cyberknife performs millions of calculations to determine the most effective radiation delivery plans.
Soon after treatment planning is complete, the patient returns for treatment delivery. During treatment, the patient lies face upwards on the treatment table and is fitted with the appropriate immobilisation device. At the beginning of the actual treatment, the imaging system acquires digital x-rays of tumour localisation and patient position. This information is transmitted to the robotic arm, which is used to move the LINAC to the appropriate position
As the treatment proceeds, the robot moves and retargets the LINAC at multiple positions around the patient. At each position, a small radiation beam is delivered. This process is repeated at 50-300 different positions around the patient to complete treatment.
Cyberknife Treatment Benefits
- Treatment of tumour lesions are far more accurate with targeting tumours
- Minimal exposure of healthy tissues
- The technology is non-invasive and involves no blood loss
- A painless treatment procedure that requires no anaesthesia
Cyberknife Treatment Limitations and Risks
- One of the major limitations of Cyberknife is the extended delivery time for patients.
- Short-term side effects include nausea, fatigue and headache
Factors Affecting the Cost of Cyberknife Treatment
Some of the following factors may affect your cost of treatment:
- The hospital you opt for
- Type of room – Standard single room, deluxe room, super deluxe room for the number of nights specified (including nursing fee, meals, room rate and room service).
- Operating room, ICU
- Fee for the team of doctors (Surgeons, Anaesthetist, Physiotherapist, Dietician)
- Medicines involved
- Standard test and diagnostic procedures