Where To Travel For CyberKnife Cancer Treatment
Cancer strikes terror in the minds of people. There was a time when the fact that you had cancer meant un-ending physical and mental trauma, but today there is hope thanks to CyberKnife, a new cancer eradication option that has made possible many things previously considered impossible in radiology.
What is CyberKnife?
The CyberKnife system is a method of delivering radiotherapy with the intention of targeting treatment more accurately than standard radiotherapy. The frameless robotic radiosurgery system is used for treating benign tumors, malignant tumors and other medical conditions.
CyberKnife treats tumors anywhere in the body in a non-invasive way, tracking and focusing on the tumor in real time even if there is patient movement. The revolutionary system delivers high-dose radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy, eliminating the need for invasive surgery.
Accuray’s CyberKnife has a robotic arm that directs a linear accelerator to emit a high-energy X-ray beam that performs a pinpointed attack on the cancerous growth without affecting the neighboring normal tissues. Continually tracking tumor position, it offers a chance of treatment to even those patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors.
The CyberKnife system can treat tumors or lesions in the brain, spine, lung, liver, pancreas and prostate from any angle and its maneuverability is unmatched by the conventional radiation systems.
Where conventional radiotherapy continues for a long time and has a number of side-effects that also last for a long time after the treatment, CyberKnife treatment is short, depending on the tumor’s complexity and shape. Patients require no anesthesia and the recovery is also quick.
With CyberKnife Radiosurgery there are no risks of infection or bleeding that come with open surgery. CyberKnife is painless and patients usually go home the same day.
CyberKnife is the only radiosurgery system to combine a linear accelerator, a robotic arm and image guidance system, but its use is restricted because of certain conditions:
CyberKnife emits concentrated beams of radiation, therefore it is often not recommended for use near vital organs. It is usually recommended only when the cancer is concentrated in an area no bigger than 6 cm - treating anything larger with the powerful beam could damage other parts of the body.
CyberKnife vs. GammaKnife
Both CyberKnife and Gamma Knife are stereotactic radiosurgeries. Although similar in concept, the CyberKnife has more advantages than the Gamma Knife.
Gamma Knife treats with multiple beams simultaneously from a 201-source cobalt unit, whereas the CyberKnfe has a linear accelerator system and produces radiation through X-rays.
Gamma Knife is designed exclusively for non-invasive brain surgery, whereas CyberKnife is not exclusive to brain surgery.
Gamma Knife is a frame-based system, whereas CyberKnife is a flexible, frameless system.
The small size of the Gamma Knife collimators may spare critical tissues from radiation, but can create difficulty in treating lesions larger than 3-4 cm.
Cyberknife vs. NanoKnife
Nanoknife is a promising method for the selective destruction of tumor cells by strong local electric fields. This process corresponds to an induced apoptosis (natural cell death).
Non-cellular tissue components are not damaged by the NanoKnife treatment. The technique destroys soft tissue tumours, minimising the risk of damage to nearby organs or blood vessels.
However, this treatment has its limitations and is not suitable for patients with tumours near major blood vessels.
NanoKnife uses a 3,000 volt electric current rather than heat to destroy the cancer. It requires no cuts or incisions. Two disposable fine needles are simply guided through the skin by ultrasound or CT scans to the tumour and then a strong electric current is passed through it for two minutes.
The entire procedure – administering the anaesthetic, guiding the needles in, carrying out the actual treatment and removing the needles – takes around 45 minutes, and is performed under general anaesthetic.
CyberKnife VSI is the latest version of the CyberKnife technology already available and offers faster and higher radiation energy, upgraded software and extended benefits.
CyberKnife delivers accuracy levels in sub-millimeter (0.5mm) of the targeted area to provide greater efficiency and highly precise outcomes. Since the CyberKnife VSI builds upon the existing CyberKnife technology, it offers the pinpoint accuracy level along with auto correction for the tumour movements.
The CyberKnife system is cost effective due to less number of sessions it takes for the cancer treatment and recovery. The CyberKnife VSI system is more cost-effective and dependable due to being empowered with next-gen capabilities that can treat a tumour even in a day.
Hospitals have to invest nearly $4 million in a CyberKnife system. Because of the huge initial investment, this technology is not widely available - just about 150 locations across the world. Cost of CyberKnife will depend on geographical location, type of the tumor being treated, and number of sessions necessary to treat the tumor. Patients in the United States can expect to pay anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 for CyberKnife treatments, and those traveling to locations such as Turkey, India and South Korea may save between 50% to 70% of costs as those offered in the U.S.
In Turkey, the CyberKnife technology is available at the Acibadem Healthcare Group (Istanbul), Anadolu Medical Center (Istanbul), Neolife Medical Center (Istanbul), Kent International Hospital (Izmir).
In India, Manipal Vattikuti Institute Of Robotic Surgery in Bangalore, Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital & Research Institute in Hyderabad and Nova Specialty Surgery in Bangalore ofer CyberKnife treatments.
In Germany, the Prostate Cancer Center in Frankfurt employs the most advanced methods for the diagnosis and therapy of prostate cancer. In advanced cases of prostate cancer, the NanoKnife treatment can be complemented with a CyberKnife treatment.
CyberKnife European Center, in Munich, a medical facility operating under Munich Clinics Alliance’s name, is a leading scientific and unique radiosurgery center in Europe which uses the Cyber Knife M6 to treat various types of cancer.
Hundreds of thousands of foreign patients travel each year to receive treatment in private hospitals outside their country.
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