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Introduction

Cyberknife is a robotic radiosurgery system designed for cancer treatment in whole body. It is also called “space knife.”

This system uses focused radiation beams to treat cancerous tissues in brain or other body parts at high doses. Healthy tissues can be conserved against hazardous effects of the radiation.

Computer-commanded robotic arm turns the treatment device around the patient and thus, tumor is irradiated at hundreds of angles.

There are subsystems in a Cyberknife device:

  • A system that locates the tumor with imaging guidance,
  • Computer-commanded robot and robotic patient positioning system.

Cyberknife is basically an advanced linear accelerator that is integrated to industrial robotic devices. It is a stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) that focuses high-dose radiation beams to treat cancerous lesion in brain or other body parts, especially those that are difficult to access.

Acıbadem Maslak Hospital has a contract with Social Security Institution for Cyberknife treatment.

Cyberknife radiosurgery system consists of a linear accelerator weighing 140 kg, which generates 6 MV X-Rays, and a robotic patient bed, which moves in 6 directions; both subsystems are integrated to an industrial robot with 6 joints. The reported precision of the robot is 0.2 mm. Unlike the conventional radiotherapy methods, CyberKnife combines target identification by continuous imaging and guiding system with a computer controlled robot to irradiate tumors.

Usage Areas

Cyberknife is used for lung cancers, prostate cancer, brain tumors, head and neck cancers, vertebral tumors and pancreatic cancers.

It can also be used for lung and liver tumors, which cannot be treated with other methods, metastases that are few in number, or when tumor shifts due to respiratory or bowel movements.

It is effective in spinal diseases, which are very radiosensitive. The treatment can be repeated for the second time in tumors that were previously irradiated, but relapse at same location.

Cyberknife can be used in all lesions of brain and head and neck, without any location and size limitations.

In addition to radiosurgery that is defined as single-session high-dose treatment, it allows stereotactic surgery for tumors that are located nearby or adjacent to risky organs, which are prone to damage.
Cyberknife is used in treatments of benign and malignant brain tumors, metastases, arteriovenous malformations and certain functional diseases.

In Certain Tumors Which Were Previously Untreatable or Those Which Can Only Be Treated With Disabling Surgery;

Cyberknife radiotherapy system can be used for such tumors. For example, Cyberknife can treat tumors located around the eye or those which require removing the eye and also radio-sensitive spinal cord spinal diseases.

In Recurrent Tumors at Previously Irradiated Targets;

Cyberknife is used for patients with a tumor that relapsed at same body part despite past history of radiotherapy. A second therapy can be performed for such tumors.

How to Apply?

In a Cyberknife therapy, a plastic mask is applied on the face of the patient and this non-surgical therapy is applied. The patient lies on a robot-operated table that moves in 6 directions during treatment.

An image capturing system is used in Cyberknife to locate and track the tumor and change position of patient, if required, due to even minimal deviation at location of tumor secondary to movement. This system enables stereotactic radiosurgery/stereotactic radiotherapy to treat lung and liver tumors that may move due to breathing.

The patient is not required to hold breath or breathe regularly during treatment.

The system compares the instant images with Computerized Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging data that is acquired before the treatment. Imaging-based coordinates of the tumor are instantly reviewed on computer and thus, dose of radiation is modulated. Thus, the treatment is not affected by minor motions of patients.

The treatment is confined to margins of tumors and thus, damage to surrounding healthy tissue is minimized.

In CyberKnife system that uses a computer-operated robot, the treatment device rotates around the patient and the tumor is irradiated at hundreds of angles. Precision of the system is very high, 0.95 mm, when irradiating the target.

Treatment Methods

It is used for lung cancers, prostate cancer, brain tumors, head and neck cancers, vertebral tumors and pancreatic cancers.

It can also be used for lung and liver tumors, which cannot be treated with other methods, metastases that are few in number, or when tumor shifts due to respiratory or bowel movements.

It is effective in spinal diseases, which are very radiosensitive. The treatment can be repeated for the second time in tumors that were previously irradiated, but relapse at same location.


Published by Acıbadem Web and Medical Broadcast Board Update Date: Thursday, February 6, 2020 Publish Date: Sunday, February 2, 2020

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