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Frequently Asked Questions

How many procedures have been performed using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System?

We estimate that the CyberKnife® System has been used to treat over 30,000 patients at 100 sites worldwide. Currently more than 50 percent of all CyberKnife® procedures in the United States are extracranial (outside of the skull).

What intracranial (inside the skull) tumors or conditions an be treated using the CyberKnife®System that cannot be treated using conventional radiosurgery?

Examples of intracranial tumors treated with the CyberKnife® System not reachable by conventional radiosurgery systems include:

  • Skull base tumors
  • Meningiomas and metastases located in the low posterior fossa, foramen magnum, and upper cervical spine areas
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

The CyberKnife® System's intelligent robotics enable the system to treat tumors that are difficult to reach with more conventional, frame-based systems. The CyberKnife® System is the only robotic radiosurgery system that utilizes the skeletal structure of the body as a reference, eliminating the need for the invasive frame used with traditional radiosurgery systems. Additionally, the robotic arm manipulator enables unlimited beam positions, which provides access to many tumors or conditions that are unreachable by other radiosurgery systems. Since there is no head fixation required, treatment may be fractionated (divided into two to five treatments) to further protect delicate tissues surrounding the area to be treated.

What areas outside the cranium can be treated using the CyberKnife® System?

The CyberKnife® System is used to treat tumors anywhere in the body where radiation treatment is indicated. Extracranial tumors that have been treated by the CyberKnife® System include:

  • Spine
  • Lung
  • Liver
  • Pancreas

Why should clinicians feel confident in the CyberKnife® as an alternative to localization systems incorporating a traditional stereotactic head frame?

The CyberKnife® System uses a combination of image guidance and computer controlled robotics to continuously track, detect and correct for tumor and patient movement throughout the treatment. Because of the extreme precision and accuracy of the CyberKnife® System, no head or body frame is required to immobilize the patient for tumor tracking.

During treatment, the CyberKnife® correlates live radiographic images with pre-operative CT or MRI scans to determine patient and tumor position repeatedly throughout the course of treatment. With the Synchrony® Respiratory Tracking System that is part of the CyberKnife® System, patients can breathe normally throughout their treatment without breath-holding or gating techniques, enabling clinicians to continuously track, detect and correct for tumor and patient movement throughout the treatment.

With the CyberKnife® System's revolutionary Xsight™ Spine Tracking System, it is now possible to treat tumors in or near spinal structures without implanting radiographic markers known as fiducials.

What is the average treatment time for the CyberKnife® System?

The treatment time per session ranges from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the dose delivered and the complexity of the tumor shape. Physicians may elect to treat a patient with a single or a fractionated plan. Fractionated plans are typically performed over two to five fractions (or sessions).