CyberKnife® treatments utilize a team approach involving several specialists. Prior to the procedure, the patient is imaged using a high-resolution CT scan to determine the size, shape and location of the tumor. The image data is then digitally transferred to the CyberKnife system's workstation.
Next, a qualified clinician uses the CyberKnife software to generate a treatment plan. The plan is used to match the desired radiation dose to the identified tumor location while limiting radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue.
Once the treatment plan has been developed, the patient is ready to undergo the CyberKnife procedure. He or she is comfortably positioned on the treatment table. The CyberKnife system's computer-controlled robot then slowly moves around the patient to various locations from which is delivers radiation to the tumor.
Each treatment session lasts between 30 and 90 minutes. Patients may need to return for additional treatments over several days (typically no more than five), as determined by the patient's doctor. Patients may experience some minimal side effects, but those often go away within the first week or two after treatment.