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CyberKnife Treatment: Precision Radiation Therapy

18 Nov, 2023

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Cyberknife is non-invasive radiation therapy for treating cancer anywhere in the body. The process involves the use of radiation (high energy X-ray machine on a robotic arm) to destroy the cancerous tissues or slow down the growth of cancer cells. Cyberknife is an outpatient treatment that takes around six to eight sessions. The best thing about cyberknife treatment is that unlike other radiation treatments, it does not attack the healthy cells, or the effect is significantly less.

Cyberknife Treatment

Here's an explanation of how CyberKnife treatment works:

  • Image Guidance: Before the treatment begins, the patient undergoes a thorough imaging process. This could include techniques like CT scans or MRI scans. These images are used to create a detailed 3D map of the area being treated. This step is crucial for accurate targeting.
  • Treatment Planning: Once the images are obtained, the medical team, including radiation oncologists and physicists, work together to plan the treatment. They determine the specific area to be treated and establish the optimal radiation dose to target the affected tissue while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Robotic Arm Technology: What sets CyberKnife apart is its use of a robotic arm. This arm is equipped with a linear accelerator, a machine that generates high-energy X-rays or radiation beams. The arm has a wide range of motion, allowing it to aim radiation from multiple angles and directions.
  • Real-Time Tracking: During the treatment, the patient lies on a comfortable treatment table. The robotic arm is then precisely positioned around the patient. Importantly, CyberKnife utilizes real-time imaging and tracking technology to monitor the patient's breathing and any slight movements. This ensures that the radiation is delivered accurately, even if the patient moves slightly during the treatment session.
  • Continuous Adaptation: The robotic arm adjusts the radiation delivery in real-time to account for any movement or changes in the patient's position. This adaptive feature is especially beneficial for treating tumors in areas of the body that are subject to movement, such as the lungs or liver.
  • Non-Invasive Procedure: CyberKnife treatment is entirely non-invasive. There are no incisions or need for anesthesia. This makes it a more comfortable option for patients, as there's no surgery involved.
  • Shorter Treatment Duration: Compared to conventional radiation therapy, CyberKnife often requires fewer treatment sessions. In some cases, a patient may receive the entire course of treatment in just a few sessions, whereas traditional radiation therapy might require daily sessions over several weeks.
  • Minimal Side Effects: Because of its precision, CyberKnife can often deliver higher doses of radiation to the target area while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This can lead to fewer side effects and a quicker recovery.
  • Versatility: CyberKnife can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. It's particularly effective for tumors located in areas that are challenging to treat with surgery.

PREPARATION

  • Treatment planning: Before the treatment, the doctor does certain tests to determine the size, location, and shape of the tumour. These tests help in protecting nearby tissues and surrounding organs.
  • Evaluation: After a complete diagnosis, the doctor will decide the volume, and radiation beam pattern depending upon the patient’s requirement. The team of doctors work together to decide the care plan for the patient.
  • Fiducial Placement: After a complete diagnosis of the tumour (location, size, and shape), the doctor inserts small golden markers (fiducials) to determine the tumour’s exact location to start with proving radiation.

DURING THE PROCEDURE

  • The doctor makes the patient lie down on the table with appropriate immobilization devices, ensuring his/her comfort.
  • According to the information transmitted to the robotic arm, the robot delivers radiation to the targeted part of the patient, moving around carefully. The cyberknife VSI system, at the same time, takes the X-ray of the part being treated for real-time images and location. This increases the accuracy of the treatment.
  • As the treatment proceeds, the robot retargets at different positions around the patient.
  • The robot delivers a radiation beam at each position, and the process is repeated at 50-300 different positions around the patient to complete treatment.
  • Depending upon the size, shape, and severity of the location, the patient undergoes six to eight sessions; each lasts for around an hour.

AFTER THE TREATMENT

The patient need not stay in the hospital for observation after cyberknife treatment. He/she

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can also resume his/her work within a week because the therapy does not involve any side effects or very minimum side effects like fatigue, nausea, and headache.

HERE ARE SOME SPECIALIST OF CyberKnife

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Dr. Pushpender Kumar Sachdeva

Dr. Pushpender Kumar Sachdeva

Director & Head Of Neurosurgery

Consults at : Venkateshwar Hospital

Dr. P. K. Sachdeva, is a well-known Neurosurgeon in Delhi. A medical graduate from Maulana Azad Medical College, Dr Sachdeva holds an MS from Lady Hardinge Medical College and MCH Neurosurgery from GB Pant Hospital, New Delhi.

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  • Distinguished Clinical Tutor, Apollo Hospitals Educational & Research Foundation, (AHERF).
  • Honorary Medical Director, Indian Head Injury Foundation (IHIF), New Delhi.

Testimonials

I was sure to get cyberknife treatment done from India for spine cancer but couldn’t decide which medical platform to opt for. Luckily, I landed on Hospals website and knew whom to trust in India for all the medical guidance, and my decision was right. Everything was best, I would say. Best stay, best services, and nominal fees. I was suggested the best hospital in India by Hospals for cyberknife therapy for spine cancer treatment. Hospals is a team of highly professional individuals dedicated in making the patient and doctors meet for the best treatment possible.

- Shahid Khan, Bangladesh

Overall, CyberKnife is an advanced form of radiation therapy that offers exceptional precision, minimal invasiveness, and reduced treatment times compared to conventional radiation therapy. It's a valuable tool in the fight against various medical conditions, especially cancer. However, it's important to note that the suitability of CyberKnife treatment depends on individual patient circumstances and should be determined in consultation with a healthcare professional.

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FAQs

CyberKnife treatment is a non-invasive form of radiation therapy used to treat cancer anywhere in the body. It utilizes a high-energy X-ray machine mounted on a robotic arm to precisely target and destroy cancerous tissues.