Frequently Asked Questions

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Q.What is CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)?

A. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) combines the principles of 3-D target localization with multiple cross-fired beams from a high-energy radiation source to precisely target a tumor within a patient's body. This technique allows for maximum doses of radiation directly to the target, while normal surrounding tissue receives lower, non-injurious doses of radiation. SRS is delivered in one treatment.

Q. When might CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery be an appropriate treatment option?

A. CyberKnife may a good option for some patients in the following circumstances:

  • When a tumor located close to a sensitive organ, where traditional radiation therapy poses a significant risk of damage to that structure
  • When a surgical approach would be too difficult
  • When surgery is unable to remove all of the diseased tissue
  • When a patient is unable or unwilling to undergo traditional surgery
  • When a tumor recurs after previous conventional radiation 

Q. What cancers does CyberKnife treat?

A. CyberKnife can treat tumors and cancers of the brain, spine, lung, liver, prostate and pancreas. In addition, the CyberKnife can also treat selected cancers that have recurred after standard radiation treatments, including cancers in the head and neck, cervix and uterus.

Q. What is the Difference Between Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)?

A. The CyberKnife delivers both SRS and SBRT treatments. SRS and SBRT both have the same targeting accuracy. In SRS, the entire radiation dose is given in one single treatment, while SBRT delivers the dose over 2-5 treatments within seven to 10 days..

Q. How does CyberKnife treatment differ from conventional radiotherapy?

A. For standard radiotherapy, the spatial accuracy with which the treatment is focused on the tumor is a secondary concern. To protect normal tissues, and make the treatment tolerable, small radiation doses are delivered over multiple sessions for a period of several weeks.

By contrast, CyberKnife radiosurgery utilizes much greater targeting accuracy. Normal tissues are protected by selectively targeting only the abnormal lesion, using cross-firing techniques to minimize the exposure to the adjacent anatomy. CyberKnife delivers the radiation in one to five daily treatments.

Q. What is involved with CyberKnife Treatment?

A. Every initial consultation includes a radiation oncologist and surgeon. If treatment is appropriate, the CyberKnife coordinator arranges for imaging studies from which the physicians and medical physicist jointly plan and approve a course of treatment. Treatment is typically completed in 1 to 5 sessions, each lasting 45 to 90 minutes.

Q. Does insurance cover CyberKnife treatments?

 A. Most insurance plans cover CyberKnife treatments for most conditions. Before any treatments are scheduled, our CyberKnife coordinator will obtain any necessary insurance pre-authorizations.