Frequently Asked Questions
- What specific tumors and conditions is the CyberKnife® effective in treating?
- Is the high-dose radiation used in the CyberKnife System safe?
- How many CyberKnife treatments have been performed?
- What can a patient expect before undergoing CyberKnife treatment?
- How is the CyberKnife treatment tolerated by most patients?
- Is the CyberKnife at other local hospitals the same as Boston Medical Center's CyberKnife?
- How can I learn more about Boston Medical Center's CyberKnife System?
1. What specific tumors and conditions is the CyberKnife effective in treating?
The CyberKnife is used to treat tumors and conditions almost anywhere in the body. It can be a more effective and less invasive alternative to both conventional radiation therapy and surgery. Some of the many conditions treated by the CyberKnife System include:
- Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
- Brain tumors
- Head and neck tumors
- Liver tumors
- Lung tumors
- Nasal tumors
- Orbital tumors
- Other hard-to-reach and inoperable tumors
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Spine and spinal cord tumors
- Renal tumors
- Pancreatic tumors
2. Is the high-dose radiation used in the CyberKnife System safe?
Yes. CyberKnife treatment is completely safe and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Most patients have minimal recovery time and can return to normal activities following their treatment.
- Scanning — Prior to CyberKnife treatment, the patient must complete imaging studies to determine the exact size, shape and location of the tumor. This may include CT and MRI scans, angiography or a PET scan.
- Treatment Planning — After the appropriate scans, the images are digitally transferred to the CyberKnife System. Boston Medical Center's physicians and physicists create an individual treatment plan based on the patient's history, physical findings and tumor size, location and type. This ensures that an effective dose of radiation is delivered to the tumor, while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. The patient does not need to be present during this step.
- Treatment Delivery — During the CyberKnife treatment, the patient is able to lie comfortably on the treatment table. Anesthesia is not required, and the procedure is completely painless. Each treatment generally lasts between one to three hours, and the treatment course is typically completed in one to five visits.
- Follow-Up — The first follow-up images are generally taken one to three months after treatment and then periodically, depending on the patient's diagnosis. Patients are generally seen in follow-up by members of their multidisciplinary CyberKnife team one month after their treatment and every three to six months thereafter.
5. How is the CyberKnife treatment tolerated by most patients?
There are very few side effects associated with CyberKnife treatments. Most patients can return to normal activities following treatment. Your doctor can advise you of possible adverse side effects based on your type of cancer and specific treatment plan.
6. Is the CyberKnife at other local hospitals the same as Boston Medical Center's CyberKnife?
While CyberKnife technology has been used for years, Boston Medical Center has the most advanced and up-to-date CyberKnife System. Among the advances at Boston Medical Center are the RoboCouch® Patient Positioning System for automated positioning and the Xsight™ Lung Tracking System—giving physicians the most powerful and effective tools in attacking hard-to-reach tumors.
7. How can I learn more about Boston Medical Center's CyberKnife System?
To learn more about Boston Medical Center's state-of-the-art CyberKnife System Program, including our team of expert CyberKnife clinicians, please call us at 800.841.4325 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download Patient Information Guide to learn about the benefits.