Cyber knife is a non invasive surgery option. It is a frameless robotic radio surgery that delivers a stereotactic radiotherapy for patients suffering from non-operable tumors, surgically complex tumors or for patients looking for an alternative surgery. In this treatment, surgeon may use multiple or high dose of radiation to precisely target a tumors throughout the body without damaging healthy body tissues. Patient does not require anesthesia during the surgery as there is no incision or wound and is allowed to go home immediately after the treatment. Patient can resume their regular routine and activities immediately post surgery.
Cyber knife robotic radiosurgery is the best option where the normal surgery for treating the tumor would not be possible due to conditions such as age, immunocompromised patient, partially excised tumor, complex tumors, recurrent tumors or residual tumors.
Radiosurgery does not remove the tumors. It may require high dose of radiation to destroy the tumor cells and stop the growth of active malignant cells. Cyberknife is advanced concept and works mainly in two ways:
1. Thin lightweight radiation delivery equipment is placed on a multi jointed robotic arms to easily reach the tumor in any part of the body.
2. Image guiding technique can be used to locate and operate on the tumor.
In cyber knife procedure, a high resolution CT scan can show the size, shape and area of the tumor. This data is then transferred to the cyber knife system digitally, that can help in planning the treatment to match the required radiation dose to the exact location of the tumor. After the planning the treatment, patient is placed comfortably on the table and then the computer controlled robot slowly moves around the table delivering the radiation to the targeted tumor from different angles and spares the surrounding healthy tissues. Each session lasts from 30-90 minutes for one –five days depending on the area and type of tumor.
With the help of these cyber knife techniques, high level of precision is maintained and is particularly useful for complex tumors near other critical organs. It also increases the chance of the removal of the resistant cancer cells. Cyber knife can used on both malignant and benign tumors and can treat the following:
• Brain tumors
• Lung cancer
• Pancreatic cancer
• Liver cancer (metastatic)
• Spine cancer
• Malformed blood vessels in the brain
• Tumors or inflammations around the eye
Bigger tumors or metastases can be treated through IMRT also known as intensity modulated radiotherapy which is not as precise as cyberknife but can give good results. There are many advantages of the using cyberknife technique as follows:
• No anesthesia required
• There is no pain
• No cuts/incisions
• No bleeding
• Fast recovery
• No need to stay at the hospital
• Minimal radiation exposure to the healthy tissues
• More comfort
• Immediate return to normal activities