The CyberKnife is technically one of the leading cutting-edge procedures of radiosurgery; it is a painless, non-invasive surgical procedure. In this procedure, highly focused beams of radiation, specifically designed to destroy tumors or lesions in and around the body, are distributed with the use of a robotic arm. The flexibility of the robotic arm makes it conceivable to treat a different region of the body, like the spine and spinal cord that cannot be treated by other radiosurgery methods.
In several circumstances, patients currently undergoing CyberKnife treatment, would have earlier opt for surgery or conventional radiation therapy and be considered untreatable.
Cyberknife Treatment Process:
Radiosurgery diminishes radiation contact with healthy tissue all around the tumor. Equated to other radiosurgical techniques, numerous advantages, as well as rapid relief from pain and other symptoms, are benefits to patients undergoing Cyberknife treatment.
Treatments are executed on an outpatient basis, each treatment duration is between 30 to 90 minutes. The total number of treatments depends on the size of the tumor, position, and form of the tumor, however usually only one to five sessions a day are necessary. Patients can lie conveniently on the procedure table without the aid of anesthesia while the robotic arm distributes the radiation, without coming in contact with the patient, to treat all the tumor affected region of the body.
Recovery is regularly instantaneous since Cyberknife treatment has a minimal possibility of complications and damage to healthy tissue.
How CyberKnife works
The CyberKnife devises X-ray cameras that detect the tumor position in the body and sensors that monitor the patient's breathing. This enables the robotic arm to reposition the radiotherapy beam during the course of treatment in order to decrease healthy tissue damages. CyberKnife moves with the patient's breathing and can trail a kinetic tumor.
Due to its accurateness, CyberKnife tolerates higher amounts (doses) of radiotherapy to be distributed, which implies that few hospital visits is required of the patient. For instance, lung cancer patients visit the hospital could be minimized to 3 visits instead of 30 that of prostate cancer patients visits could possibly be minimized to 5 instead of 37 and palliative radiotherapy visit could be minimized from 10 to 1.
CyberKnife treatment process is personalized for each individual patient; it all depends on the unique shape, type and position of the tumor in the body. The procedure is commonly divided into the following phases:
1. initial consultation,
2. setup procedure,
3. treatment preparation,
4. treatment execution,
1. Initial Consultation
CyberKnife treatments comprise of a collaborative approach, during which numerous specialists and clinicians take part. This first phase involves a meeting between the patient, a radiation oncologist, and a specialist doctor depending on the tumor type and position. For instance, in case of cranial and spinal tumors, the initial consultation would involve a radiation oncologist and neurosurgeon. And occasionally, physician assistants and nurse practitioner are requested to partake.
In this initial consultation, the patient is well enlightened on the processes, including its complications and benefits. The patient is also expected to sign a comprehensive paperwork that is necessary to implement the treatment. The initial consultation is generally done a few days earlier to the setup procedure although; it can be done the same day.
2. Setup Procedure
Prior to this procedure, a CT scan, probably joint with MRI or PET is used to image the patient; this is to determine the size, shape and position of the tumor. This may be necessary even to patient who have had recent imaging, the CyberKnife method necessitates that scans be attained with certain procedures which are not usually applied for typical diagnostic imaging.
3. Treatment Preparation
After these fresh scans, treatment preparation commences. The image data is digitally transmitted to the CyberKnife treatment planning computer. After which the doctors and a medical physicists with the utilization of the scans and sophisticated cyberKnife computer software which will be used to design the details of the radiation delivery. To modify the treatment plan to match the preferred radiation dose to the recognized tumor position and to ensure minimal radiation contact with healthy tissue surrounding the tumor is the objective here.
4. Treatment execution:
On the day of surgery:
Put on loose-fitting, comfortable clothes to the surgical theatre. Many patients are not required to wear a hospital gown.
Balanced eating and carry on with normal patient’s activities.
All recommended prescriptions are to be taken before the treatment.
Jewelries are not to be wore to treatment
Four hours before treatment, it is prohibited to use any moisturizers, lotions, creams, powders, or deodorant on the region marked to treated.
Patients are allowed to bring family member or friends to the hospital but won’t be inside the surgical theatre, especially during the surgical process.
Treating patients during the CyberKnife method starts by lying conveniently on the surgical table, which automatically positions patient. Anesthesia is not necessarily required, as this technique is painless and noninvasive. Treatment period is generally between 30 and 90 minutes.
Subsequently, after CyberKnife treatment, the development of the patient must be monitored. Consultation with medical consultants and supplementary imaging with a CT and/or MRI will possibly be performed within 3 to 6 months of treatment.
The combination of a robotics and image guidance to provide concentrated and precise beams of radiation to intracranial and extracranial targets is applied by the CyberKnife system, many of which are unachievable with sub-millimeter accuracy. The robotic arm is highly flexible, allowing access to tumors in all locations.
The CyberKnife compared to other stereotactic radiosurgery methods, have the ability to track down the location of the tumor without the use of an invasive stereotactic head frame or stereotactic body frame. The method compensates for the breathing and movement of the patient during treatment, regularly ensuring precise targeting of the distribution of radiation beams.
CyberKnife is not only for brain tumors, it is a more conventional technique of radiosurgery; CyberKnife treats tumors all over the body as well as the head, spine, lungs, prostate, liver, and pancreas. All not need any cutting. Markers are required for treatment purposes in few circumstances.
The many advantages of CyberKnife technique are, it is non-invasive, a headframe or painful Immobilization device isn’t involved and it is able to reach regions of the body earlier considered untreatable. It is preferably suitable for patients who are not capable of going through surgery or who do not desire to risk surgery.
The CyberKnife technique is an exclusive modality and as such only a CyberKnife qualified surgeon can best determine if it is the proper treatment for a specific situation. A proficient CyberKnife physician can suggest the best recommendation and deliberate on other treatment options with the patient and relatives. It is usually normal for consultation to be done with numerous physicians, as well as the patient’s main doctor, before determining candidacy for CyberKnife treatment.
Physicians gather weekly to deliberate on cases being considered for CyberKnife treatment. Patients are informed of the result of this review, and an appointment may be made to prepare for a personalized treatment.
The CyberKnife System is centered on radiation technology that has been supported for over 30 years. Throughout the world, thousands of patients have received CyberKnife treatments, and many clinical studies have been circulated in peer-reviewed medical magazines.
The frequency of treatment depends on the location of the tumor and the type of tumor being treated. Most cases can receive multiple treatments or be re-attended with CyberKnife. It is allowed to eat before the treatment as it will not affect the treatment of the patient.