What are the steps in the CyberKnife treatment process?
Scanning - Prior to treatment with the CyberKnife System, the patient undergoes imaging procedures to determine the size, shape and location of the tumor. The process begins with a standard high-resolution CT scan, and for certain tumors other imaging techniques, such as MRI, angiography or PET, may also be used.
Planning - Following the scanning, the image data is then digitally transferred to the CyberKnife System's treatment planning workstation, where the treating physician identifies the exact size, shape and location of the tumor. A qualified clinician then uses the CyberKnife software to generate a treatment plan to provide the desired radiation dose to the identified tumor location while avoiding damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. The patient does not need to be present during this step in the process.
Treatment - During a CyberKnife procedure, a patient lies comfortably on the treatment table, which automatically positions the patient. Anesthesia is not required, as the procedure is painless and non-invasive. The treatment generally lasts between 30 and 90 minutes and is typically completed in one to five visits.
Follow-up - Follow-up imaging, generally performed with a combination of CT, MRI and/or PET scanning, is usually performed in the months following treatment to assess the tumor's response to the delivered radiation.