CyberKnife is a system that delivers stereotactic radiosurgery.
CyberKnife is a type of radiation treatment for cancerous and non-cancerous tumours. This type of treatment uses very small beams of radiation. The radiation can get to and remove small tumours that are anywhere deep within the body. In the past, surgery and radiation could not get to these types of tumours.
In regular surgery, cuts are made in the body to remove a tumour. With CyberKnife, no cuts are made. A robotic system focuses the radiation beams just on the tumour. What this means is that the healthy cells and body parts around the tumour are avoided by the radiation.
How is stereotactic radiosurgery different from conventional radiation therapy?
Conventional Radiation Therapy
- uses a small number of beams that cover a large area
- treatment can last up to 40 days
- position has to be rigid
- small parts of the body surrounded by important tissues may not be reached by regular radiation beams
- uses a large number of beams that cover a small area
- using many beams and a smaller area of treatment mean that the tissues around the tumour get less radiation
- treatment can be completed in one to 10 days
- position is less rigid because the robot can correct for changes in tumour position
Dr. Anthony Whitton, Radiation Oncologist at the JCC, demonstrates the CyberKnife on Always Good News
April 12, 2010 - Always Good News, Chrisitan Televsion Station