Core Conditions We Treat
CyberKnife® robotic stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) painlessly delivers precise beams of high-dose radiation to brain tumors and lesions, without incisions, hospitalization, or long recovery time. CyberKnife SRS is a non-invasive alternative to brain cancer surgery and can be used for brain tumors that are considered inoperable because of their location in the head, for those patients who cannot undergo brain cancer surgery due to their poor medical condition, or who refuse surgery. The CyberKnife System also can treat benign, or non-cancerous, tumors and other conditions, such as trigeminal neuralgia and arterial venous malformations (AVMs).
Radiation therapy is used to treat breast cancer painlessly and non-invasively. During treatment, high-energy X-rays are delivered to a patient’s breast cancer safely and effectively. Side effects are usually minimal, and most patients return to routine activities immediately after each treatment. Radiation therapy serves as an effective treatment for breast cancer, working within cancer cells to damage their ability to multiply. Several factors determine candidacy for radiation therapy treatment including the stage of the cancer, potential side effects, age and overall health. Sometimes a combination of treatments is the best plan for treating breast cancer.
CyberKnife® robotic radiosurgery painlessly delivers precise beams of radiation to tumors and lesions, without requiring incisions, hospitalization, or long recovery time. It can serve as an effective lung cancer treatment and is an especially good option for patients with complex tumors or patients who prefer a non-invasive way to treat their cancer.
Metastatic tumors occur when cancer cells from the primary cancer spread to other areas of the body. The most common areas cancer cells spread to are the brain, lungs, liver and bones. When cancer spreads to another area, it has the same name and the same type as the original cancer. For example, renal cell cancer that has spread to the lung is called metastatic renal cell cancer, not lung cancer.
The CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system is a widely used form of nonsurgical prostate stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) believes that enough clinical evidence exists so that SBRT should be considered an appropriate alternative for select patients with low- to intermediate-risk prostate cancer.
Radiosurgery for kidney tumors is noninvasive, and typically carries less risk of complications than conventional surgery. For patients who refuse surgery or have medically inoperable kidney tumors, radiosurgery can be an effective treatment option. CyberKnife, which delivers high-dose radiation over one to five treatments, can be particularly effective for treatment of small kidney tumors. CyberKnife has the ability to compensate for normal patient movements, precisely targeting the tumor during the entire procedure and minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This is important when treating kidney tumors, which can shift during treatment due to regular patient movements such as breathing.
CyberKnife’s ability to treat tumors with precisely focused radiation offers an important advantage for liver cancer patients. Accurate to within less than a millimeter, radiosurgery has minimal effect on surrounding health tissue. This level of accuracy enables doctors to target liver tumors with high-dose radiation, which significantly reduces the number of treatments needed – usually between three and five over several days compared to 30-40 over several weeks required for radiotherapy systems. Radiosurgery has other benefits as well, namely its ability to track tumors in real time. That means patients breathe normally during each treatment session, since the radiation beam adjusts automatically to the tumor location.
CyberKnife is capable of high-dose radiation for tumors or lesions in especially sensitive areas of the brain and is the only radiosurgery system that doesn’t need an invasive head frame. Radiosurgery with CyberKnife safely delivers high-dose radiation while minimizing exposure to healthy tissue. Ocular and orbital tumors can be difficult to treat due to their close proximity to important structures in the brain, and CyberKnife provides an effective treatment option for these tumors due to the precise nature of the radiation beams it delivers. Ocular and orbital tumors can greatly affect a patient’s quality of life, and radiosurgery with CyberKnife offers a treatment option that can preserve a patient’s vision.
CyberKnife treats pancreatic cancer with high-dose radiation. Clinical studies are ongoing to test the CyberKnife’s effectiveness in treating localized, non-metastatic pancreatic cancer. However, preliminary results involving patients with relatively advanced cases of pancreatic cancer suggest that CyberKnife radiosurgery treatment is well tolerated and provides some clinical benefit.
Prior to treatment, doctors implant between three to five small metal markers known as fiducials in or near the tumor that enable the CyberKnife to pinpoint the tumor location throughout treatment. Implanting the markers is an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour. About a week later, patients are fitted with a custom body mold made of soft material that they lie on during treatments. The fitting process is painless. Patients then undergo a CT scan that assists in developing a customized treatment plan.
Spine cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in or around the spinal cord resulting in a tumor. If the abnormal cells originated from cells in the tissues of the spine, this is a Primary Spine Tumor. Primary tumors in the spine are relatively rare and are either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
If the abnormal cells originated in another part of the body, as in cancer originating in the lung, breast, colon or skin and were carried to the spine by the blood or other bodily fluid, growing into a tumor, then it is considered a Metastatic Spine Tumor.
Both primary and metastatic spine tumors are very serious because they can compress the spinal cord and/or destroy the bone and surrounding tissue in the spine. These tumors cause patients to experience pain, gait and posture problems, and other neurological issues.
CyberKnife is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for TN. High-dose radiation is accurately delivered by a linear accelerator mounted on a highly maneuverable robotic arm. The procedure is painless and typically performed in one outpatient treatment session. Unlike other stereotactic radiation therapy treatments for TN, the CyberKnife does not use a rigid metal frame secured to the patient’s head with screws. Instead, TN patients wear a comfortable mesh face mask. The CyberKnife delivers hundreds of highly concentrated and incredibly precise beams of radiation targeted directly to the trigeminal sensory nerve root, interrupting the transmission of pain signals to the brain.