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The CyberKnife System

The CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System is composed of a radiation delivery device, called a linear accelerator (or Linac), which is mounted on a robotic arm. The flexibility of the robotic arm enables the CyberKnife System to deliver radiation to tumors anywhere in the body, including the brain, head and neck, spine, lung, prostate, liver, pancreas, breast and other soft tissues. The CyberKnife System also utilizes sophisticated software and advanced imaging to track tumor and patient movement and adjust the beams of high-dose radiation to ensure treatment is delivered with a high degree of accuracy. Because of this exceptional tracking ability, the CyberKnife System eliminates the need for patients to have stabilizing frames bolted to their head or limit their breathing during treatment to minimize movement of the tumor.

With the CyberKnife System, patients can complete treatment in one to five days, compared to the weeks it takes to complete a course of conventional radiation therapy. In addition, it provides a pain-free, non-surgical option for patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors, or who may be looking for an alternative to surgery.

The CyberKnife Difference

Despite the best attempts of clinicians, it is virtually impossible to prevent patients and their internal anatomy from moving during radiation treatments. With conventional treatment, patients are subjected to invasive and uncomfortable methods to minimize their movement as much as possible.

The makers of the CyberKnife® System, realized early on that patients, and their internal anatomy, are still going to move, no matter what means was taken to prevent it.  Rather than retrofitting existing technology, a new approach was taken by developing an innovative design that could effectively address patient and tumor movement during treatment and eliminate the need for antiquated techniques, additional procedures, and patient discomfort. Instead of restricting patient movement, the CyberKnife System’s leading-edge technology was designed to move with the tumor. This unique capability results in the delivery of more accurate and higher doses of radiation to the tumor, while avoiding the surrounding healthy tissue and reducing the side effects commonly associated with conventional radiation therapy treatments.

Benefits of CyberKnife

The unique features developed in the CyberKnife System allow for a multitude of patient benefits and individualized treatments including:

  • Real-Time Image Guidance - The CyberKnife System uses imaging software to track and continually adjust treatment for any movement of the patient or tumor.
  • Unlimited Flexibility & Freedom – The CyberKnife System’s robotic maneuverability allows your physician to deliver a highly individualized treatment.
  • Unrivaled Accuracy – The CyberKnife System can treat moving tumors with pinpoint accuracy that is unmatched by other radiosurgery systems.
  • Convenience – Depending on the type of tumor, you will likely need only one to five CyberKnife treatments. With other radiation systems, you could require dozens of treatments spread out over several weeks.

A Team Approach

Dr. Rebecca Tarlton, Radiation Oncologist at St. Vincent Frontier Cancer Center, designs and delivers CyberKnife treatments to tumors throughout the body including the brain, spine.  It has been demonstrated that patient outcomes are maximized when a team of physicians are involved in the treatment plan.  That is why our program was designed specifically around an approach of teamwork. Dr. Tarlton works closely with specialists in the fields of neurosurgery, general surgery and urology to tailor treatments specifically to each tumor(s) shape in order to ensure the best possible outcome.

For more information about treatment using the CyberKnife Radiosurgery System, please call Dr. Rebecca Tarlton of St. Vincent Frontier Cancer Center at 238-6290.