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CyberKnife Treatment Overview

How Does the Treatment Process Work?

Step 1: Pre-Treatment Prep

Mask or Body Mold

A mask or body mold might be made. The mold is used to  help minimize movement during treatment. The process is simple and painless.


CyberKnife patients with lung, liver, kidney, or prostate tumors may need to have small gold markers called fiducials implanted near the tumor to enable the system to track the tumor throughout the treatment procedure.

CT Scan

A CT scan is taken. The surgeon and/or radiation oncologist will use the scan to identify the exact size, shape and location of the tumor along with the surrounding vital structures to be avoided.

Step 2: Treatment Planning

Once prep is completed and the anatomy has been defined, physicians and the team will use the CyberKnife System's software to determine the number, intensity and direction of the radiation beams the robot will send to the target. This planning procedure, which is completed after you have left the FMH CyberKnife Center, will help ensure that a sufficient dose is administered to the tumor in order to destroy it while avoiding the adjacent healthy tissue.

Step 3: The Treatment


Wear comfortable clothing and no jewelry. We recommend bringing a bottle of water and a CD or MP3 player to listen to during your treatment.


During the CyberKnife procedure you will be asked to lie still. Generally, no sedation or anesthesia is used because the treatment is painless.

Painless Treatment, Verification and Targeting

The treatment itself involves the administration of radiation beams delivered from different directions. Prior to the delivery of each radiation beam, the image guidance system takes x-ray images and compares them to the original CT scan. This information is used to ensure the radiation is targeted directly at the tumor while avoiding critical structures.


Patients usually leave the FMH CyberKnife Center and resume normal activity immediately following the treatment.


Follow-up imaging is generally performed to monitor the tumor's progress. While waiting for your results, stay busy and keep a positive state of mind.


Is the CyberKnife Clinically Proven?

The CyberKnife System utilizes radiation technology that has been proven for more than 30 years. Additionally, more than 40,000 patients have received CyberKnife treatments worldwide.


Is the CyberKnife Cleared by the FDA?

The CyberKnife System received clearance from the FDA in July 1999 for the treatment of head and neck tumors.  In October 2001, the FDA extended its clearance to include the treatment of tumors and other conditions anywhere in the body.

What Types of Tumors can be Treated?

The CyberKnife System is cleared by the FDA to treat tumors anywhere in the body.  Consult with your physician to see if CyberKnife treatment is right for you.

Who Will be Involved During My Treatment?

The CyberKnife System utilizes a team approach where medical experts collaborate with the patient as their central focus.  Team members may include your surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, physicist and other team members within the FMH Regional Cancer Therapy Center.

Do You Have Other Questions?

If you have additional questions about the CyberKnife System, please feel free to contact Donna Hill, CyberKnife Coordinator with the FMH Regional Cancer Therapy Center, either by phone at 240-566-4761 or by email at



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