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Cyberknife Treatment: Breakthrough Radio-surgery

Cyberknife Treatment in India

What Is Cyberknife Treatment?

Cyberknife treatment is a minimally invasive surgery that is used for the treatment of cancer in any part of the human body, earlier thought to be inoperable or non treatable. It is an innovative robotic radio surgical procedure that is thought to be a better alternative to the conventional surgical procedures that are adopted for the elimination of cancer/tumor mass. However it can also be put to use for the correction of non cancerous conditions.

Conditions Treated With Cyberknife Treatment:

  • Spine and brain tumors
  • Skull overgrowths, fractures
  • Lung cancer
  • Cancer of the liver, kidney
  • Metastatic cancers that have spread to the lymph nodes, brain, lungs
  • Prostate cancer
  • Cancer involving the pancreatic cells
  • Neck space infections
  • Bone marrow tumors

Cyber knife Treatment Procedure:

The procedure makes use of LINAC which is lightwear linear accelerator system, mounted on a robotic arm. This entire apparatus is made to deliver intense focused dose of radiation to the targeted site of tumor. These beamlets are hundreds in number and travel in multiple directions. However they all converge together on the tumor mass and magnify the dose. The cyberknife treatment also makes use of xray guided cameras to locate the actual site of the tumor so that the beam can be accurately targeted. The procedure is clubbed with software called as the synchrony system which enhances the robotic delivery system and helps in targeting the beam to a moving tumor mass, such as that of blood or lymph. The software can also detect the mass in motion if the patient breathes heavily or starts moving when the procedure is being carried out. This is the time when the sub-millmeter precision efficiency of the beam is put to use. With the maneuverability of the robotic arm, surgeons can administer multiple radiation beams from up to 1,200 different targeting positions and angles. All of the beams intersect within the tumor where the total dose is high enough to obliterate the cancer, while minimizing radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. 

  • Duration: 30 to 90 minutes
  • Sedation: No, the patient is wide awake
  • Outpatient procedure 
  • Hospital stay: Not required

Why would you require Cyberknife radiosurgery?

Stereotactic radiosurgery or gamma knife surgery was the conventional procedure used. However, Cyberknife radiosurgery is one step ahead, and can be used in the treatment of:

  1. Non-cancerous tumours: a bloodless, incision less surgery without anaesthesia can be performed with a high dose ablative dose of radiation. It can be used in clearing any recurrences or residual diseases post operatively as well.
  2. Tumours of the brain:
        • Solitary brain metastasis and in malignant gliomas or glioblastomas
        • Arteriovenous malformations and haemangioblastomas or haemangiopericytomas
        • Meningiomas
        • Schwannomas or vestibular neuromas
        • Pituitary adenomas
  1. Tumours of the prostate: The tumours of prostate, especially in an early stage and confined to the prostate can be treated with cyberknife. The mobility of the prostate usually becomes problematic in delivering radiations. However, in the modern cyberknife surgery, this can be overcome as the equipment is motion sensitive and doesn’t deliver radiation into inappropriate areas.
  2. Tumours of the liver: As the liver moves with respiration, it becomes important to identify the motion, and the cyberknife does this with its realtime respiratory tracking, enabling it to deliver precise doses of radiation
  3. Early lung cancers and lung metastasis: Cyberknife can also work in an actively mobile organ like the lung too.
  4. Cancers of the spine and head & neck cancers: Cyberknife technique can spare the vital structures like the spinal cord and the eyes etc. in cases where, a small damage can have a large impact in the overall quality of life of an individual.
  5. Breast cancers: Nowadays, it is being used in early stages of breast cancer and also in metastatic breast disease, and has been an innovative approach.

What Makes Cyberknife Different From The Other Stereotactic Radio-surgery Systems?

Stereotactic radio surgery is the latest technology that uses many precisely focused radiation beams to treat cancerous and non cancerous anywhere in the human body. It is not a surgical procedure in the truest sense, since no incisions and suturing is needed. It works by targeting minute beams of radiation on the tumor mass and damaging the DNA of the cancer cells, bringing about cell death and disintegration of the tumor mass. This can be achieved in three different ways as follows:

  • Cyber knife: These are linear accelerator LINAC machines that perform the surgery in three to five sessions for large tumors, anywhere in the body.
  • Gamma knife: This principle is used for the correction of tumors, vascular lesions and functional disorders restricted to the brain and cervical spine only.
  • Proton beam surgery: Latest trend and still under research, has been introduced for the treatment of tumors of central nervous system, in a singe sitting; thereby avoiding the need to undergo multiple sessions.

Cyberknife Versus Conventional Radiotherapy:

Cyberknife treatment  Conventional Radiotherapy
Administers small beams of radiation Administers a broad beam of radiation 
Direction of the beam is multi directional Direction of the beam is usually from two sides only
Duration of the treatment is 3-5 days Duration of the treatment is 6-8 weeks
Damage to the surrounding tissues is minimized There is an equal chance of destroying the adjacent healthy tissues just like the cancer cells
Can detect the motion of the tumor mass when the patient breathes or moves during the dose administration and hence can change the direction of the beam Cannot detect the change in motion of the mass, the direction of the beam remains the same
High success rates Relatively lesser success rates

Cyberknife Versus Gamma knife:

Cyberknife and gamma knife are both stereotactic radio surgeries, however certain differences exist between the two. These are as follows:

Cyberknife treatment  Gamma knife Treatment 
The patient lies comfortably and the entire system moves around the patient A large metal frame is mounted onto the head of the patient and stabilized with the help of screws
No general/local anesthesia or sedation is needed Sedation and/or local/general anesthesia is needed depending upon the case
Approaches a tumor from over 1300 positions Approaches a tumor from over 950 positions
Used for correction of cancerous and non cancerous conditions all over the body Used for the correction of cancerous and non cancerous conditions in the brain and cervical spine only

Complications And Risk Factors Associated With Cyber knife Treatment:

  • Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, general discomfort
  • Loss of hair
  • Increased or decreased salivation, urination and sweating
  • Skin irritation and rashes at the site of radiation delivery

Am I Good Candidate For Cyberknife Treatment?

If you have or are experiencing any of the below mentioned points, you surely are an ideal candidate for the cyberknife treatment:

  • You have been treated for tumor earlier but it has failed to regress
  • A tumor you previously had has now become metastatic 
  • Freshly diagnosed benign and malignant tumors of the brain, spine or the skull
  • Neck space infections, warts or moles that have grown non cancerously

Recovery Time:

You recover from the procedure once you get discharged on the same day. However you may experience very minor side effects such as vomiting, nausea. If any major side effects occur then you are advised to see the doctor as soon as possible.

Success Rate of Cyberknife Treatment:

Success rate in cases of cyberknife treatment is directly proportional to the survival rate of the individual. Patients with low grade risk cancers treated with cyberknife have a 89 to 95 percent 5 year survival rate. Those with intermediate risk cancers have a 5 year survival rate of 80 to 83 percent.

Benefits of Cyberknife Treatment:

  • Can be performed after the conventional surgery has been done or radiation and chemotherapy has been done
  • Pain free treatment
  • Does not use any medications or chemicals such as in chemotherapy
  • Takes little time, 30 to 90 minutes
  • Does not require any type of sedation, you are awake during the entire procedure and can go home the same day
  • It adjusts to your body position, so no heavy metal apparatus is needed to keep you stable
  • You can resume your normal activities once you are home

Cost Comparisons for Cyber knife Treatment:

You will be expected to pay a sum of 4,00,000 to 5,00,000 INR for the cyberknife treatment in India. This amount is like peanuts as compared to what you will be required to pay at the radio surgical hospitals abroad.

Why choose India?

India is the leading country in terms of medical advancements in Asia. With the introduction and widespread use of cyberknife treatment in India, we at MedcureIndia assure a very personal touch and guidance regarding the course of cyberknife treatment for your concerned cancer or non cancerous lesion.



Frequently Asked Questions:

• Is cyberknife surgery included under Insurance?

Yes, it is included under insurance. You can find schemes in hospitals and banks and decide as per your wish.

• Will hair loss occur with cyberknife treatment?

There are 5 percent chances of hair loss occurring since the beam is highly selective in targeting.

• Is gamma knife similar to cyberknife?

No, gamma knife pertains to radio surgery of the brain and spinal tumors; cyber knife of the other hand is treatment for the cancers in the entire body.

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