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What is the CyberKnife System and How Does it Treat Prostate Cancer?

Despite its name, the CyberKnife System is not a surgical procedure. In fact, there is no cutting involved. The CyberKnife System precisely delivers high doses of radiation – in a process called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) – directly to the prostate tumor. With SBRT, prostate cancer patients typically have to undergo one treatment – or fraction – per day for five days or less, compared to 43 days of treatment or more using conventional radiation radiation systems.s.

The CyberKnife System has a linear accelerator (linac) mounted to a robotic arm, which enables it deliver radiation from hundreds of different angles. With this extreme maneuverability, the CyberKnife System allows doctors to deliver high doses of radiation directly to the prostate tumor, sparing healthy tissue and minimizing side effects.

One of the primary challenges of treating prostate tumors with radiation is that the prostate gland moves up to two inches unpredictably throughout the course of treatment. The CyberKnife System addresses this challenge by being able to adjust for motion during treatment. The CyberKnife System continually tracks and automatically corrects for the movement of the prostate, and the tumor, in real time. This unique capability enables the system to ensure that radiation hits the intended target throughout the entire treatment, maintaining sub-millimeter accuracy and sparing healthy tissue. The system constantly monitors and aligns the location of the prostate in real time to ensure radiation delivery matches the prescribed treatment plan.

Each CyberKnife treatment fraction takes approximately 20 to 45 minutes, depending on movement, and is completed in one to five sessions over the course of consecutive days. Side effects are typically minimal, and success rates are high.


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