CyberKnife System Technology: High Tech Cancer Treatments
The CyberKnife System is a free floating, also known as a frameless, type of robotic radiosurgery equipment, designed and developed by a Stanford University professor of neurosurgery and radiation oncology by the name of John Adler.
CyberKnife Treatment Options
CyberKnife is a registered trademark name for a type of robotic radiosurgery that offers precise treatment of cancerous and non-cancerous tumor growth. Surgical technologies used by the CyberKnife System offer a unique, noninvasive alternative to traditional surgeries mainly used in cancer treatments as well as treatments for non-cancerous tumors of the:
The CyberKnife System may also treat a variety of conditions including:
How Does the CyberKnife Work?
The CyberKnife System automatically tracks and updates the precise location of a tumor. This technology enables treatment only onto the tumor, saving surrounding tissues from damage or destruction that results from more commonly used radiation therapies.
CyberKnife is supremely accurate and provides excellent pinpoint radiation therapy to even difficult to reach areas of the brain. The CyberKnife coats cancerous or non-cancerous tumor growth with radiation, which then enables the system to completely focus on surface areas of the tumor without affecting surrounding tissues. Such technology causes less tissue damage, reduces recovery time, and eliminates permanent damage to organ systems. Patients are often spared from the severe and often debilitating side effects of "normal" cancer treatments.
The CyberKnife utilizes a motion to a software called a Synchrony System to deliver accurate treatments to moving targets, such as a patient who is breathing or has moved slightly during a treatment. Such movement is detected by the robot and compensates in "real time". Using the robotic arm, a surgeon is able to deliver multiple radiation beams in over 1,000 different angles and targeting positions.
The radiation beams intersect within the lesion or tumor, where doses high enough to destroy cancer cells while at the same time reducing the exposure of radiation to healthy tissues surrounding the tumor are achieved.
How It Works
The CyberKnife robotic system is relatively lightweight and compact. The robotic arm offers flexibility and movement to specifically target lesions and tumors, and utilizes advanced image guiding technologies to track every move of a patient to adjust targeting to focal treatment of areas within less than one millimeter accuracy.
This tracking is utilized through dynamic tracking software that has been inspected and cleared by the Federal Drug Administration to radiosurgically treat tumors formerly considered inoperable due to their location. CyberKnife Systems technologies enable medical care providers to improve quality patient treatments, as well as offer less invasive treatments with fewer side effects.
Euan Thompson, President and CEO of Accuracy Inc., a California based radiosurgery equipment manufacture states, "The system doesn't require the use of head or body stabilizers. It's a completely bloodless, outpatient procedure that patients find very attractive. The CyberKnife System has been used to treat more than 80,000 patients worldwide so far." To date, CyberKnife Systems are found in the United States and throughout Europe and Asia.
Radiation treatments utilizing the CyberKnife System may deliver 1 to 5 treatments over a shorter length of time than traditional radiation therapies, which often extend between 6 to 8 weeks.
The patient lies down fully clothed, on a table, around which the CyberKnife System rotates. Procedures are pain-free and don't require anesthesiology. The system doesn't require the use of implanted body markers for precision, offering accurate and safe tumor treatment, less side effects, and faster return to daily life for patients.
How Much Does CyberKnife Cost?
Cost of CyberKnife Systems Technologies will depend on geographical location as well as the type and location of the tumor being treated. Costs will also depend on the 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, which may or may not include follow-up visits and hospitalization costs.
Patients traveling to locations such as Turkey, India and South Korea may save between 50% to 70% of costs as those offered in the United States.
The Future of CyberKnife Systems Technologies
The use of radiosurgery systems such as CyberKnife are expected to grow in clinical fields as information and research regarding radiosurgery increases. Such robotic surgical systems provide benefits in the treatment of lung and prostate cancers as well as patients diagnosed with tumors located in difficult to reach areas of the body, offering treatment options for tumor patients around the world. The market for such systems is growing, as is the demand for minimally invasive surgical procedures that cut down on post-surgical costs and rehabilitation.
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Cancer Treatment Abroad, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer