How does CyberKnife work?

The CyberKnife® System uses image guidance technology and computer controlled robotics to continuously track, detect and correct for tumor and patient movement throughout the treatment.

imgWhy02aThe CyberKnife® consists of three key components:

  1. An advanced, lightweight linear accelerator (LINAC). This device is used to produce multiple beams of high energy (6MV) of radiation.
  2. A robot which can point the linear accelerator to a wide variety of angles. This allows the treatment to be given in 360 degrees.
  3. Several X-ray cameras (imaging devices) that are combined with powerful software to track patient position. The cameras obtain frequent pictures of the patient during treatment, and uses this information to target the radiation beam.

The CyberKnife® System does not require invasive head or body frames to stabilize patient movement, which greatly increases the system's flexibility and enhances patient comfort.

Unlike traditional radiosurgery systems that can only treat tumors in the head and neck, the CyberKnife® System can treat tumors and other conditions inside the skull, head and neck (intracranial) and many areas throughout the body (extracranial). In fact, treatments to sites outside of the skull, head and neck currently represent more than 50 percent of CyberKnife® System procedures in the United States, including those of the spine, lung, liver and pancreas. The CyberKnife® System provides an additional option for many patients diagnosed with previously inoperable or surgically complex tumors.