The CyberKnife® System At UH Neurological Institute

The CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System offers new hope for patients with tumors previously considered untreatable. Not only is it painless and precise, but it also enables patients to resume their normal routine more quickly than traditional treatments.

University Hospitals Neurological Institute is the only provider in northeast Ohio to offer this revolutionary treatment. Based on radiation technology used in operating rooms for over 30 years, CyberKnife® takes radiosurgery to new levels of precision and effectiveness.

CyberKnife® combats tumors and lesions anywhere in the body. And despite its name, CyberKnife® involves no knife or cutting. Instead, the system uses a robot to deliver high-dose radiation from more than 1,200 angles. It destroys tumor cells while leaving surrounding, healthy tissue unaffected. Its precision is down to a third of a millimeter. That is about the width of three human hairs. Learn more about the CyberKnife System.

The treatment is delivered by a team of specialists from UH Neurological Institute and radiation oncology experts at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.

Key Advantages of CyberKnife® Treatment

As an advanced form of robotic radiosurgery, CyberKnife® offers a wide range of benefits compared to traditional surgical techniques. These include:

  • A painless outpatient procedure
  • No cutting or blood loss
  • No anesthesia required
  • Does not result in hair loss
  • Fewer side effects
  • Patients recover more quickly
  • Uses more powerful radiation doses than traditional treatment
  • Safe for older patients and those with coexisting health problems
  • Patients can breathe normally and relax comfortably during treatment
  • Amazingly precise

What to Expect During CyberKnife® Treatment

Step 1 - Preparation for treatment: Before CyberKnife® treatments begin, the patient may need a short outpatient procedure to implant three to six small metal markers (fiducials) near the tumor. These fiducials allow the CyberKnife® system to track its treatment target. The patient may also need a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET) scan, which provide physicians the clearest possible picture of the tumor.

Step 2 - Treatment set up: A week or more after preparation (Step 1), the patient has a set-up appointment, which usually takes a few hours. During this time, technicians will make a body mold or custom soft mask for head and neck treatments. Patients also receive a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging scan. This data is used to guide the CyberKnife® system robot during treatment.

Step 3 - Painless treatment: During treatment, the patient is fitted with the custom mask or body mold made in Step 2. Usually, no anesthesia is required. The CyberKnife® robot moves around the patient and delivers radiation. Throughout the procedure, an imaging system verifies that the radiation is precisely on target.

Step 4 - Completion: For patients undergoing only one CyberKnife® session, treatment usually takes several hours. Patients undergoing staged treatment can expect to receive three to five treatments on the same day. Each lasts 30 to 90 minutes. After the first treatment, the patient will stay at the hospital for a few hours of observation before going home. After subsequent treatments, patients may go home right after the procedure.

Step 5 – Follow-up: Patients will need post-treatment imaging studies to share with their physician at a follow-up appointment.

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