CyberKnife for Prostate Cancer Treatment
Recent research has proven that higher doses of radiation decreases the chance of prostate cancer recurring. Yet concerns about damaging the gland’s surrounding critical structures — including the bladder, rectum and urethra — have often prevented the use of aggressive radiation treatment.
CyberKnife may be your best option if:
- Your lesion or tumor is untreatable by open surgery or other radio-surgical systems;
- You have previously undergone extensive radiation treatments;
- You are elderly, frail or otherwise in compromised health.
Benefits of CyberKnife
Not only can CyberKnife target tumors that were previously considered unreachable or inoperable, the sophisticated system is a great advancement in patient ease and comfort, offering the following advantages:
- No pain. Because the procedure is a nonsurgical approach, there is no anesthesia, incision, blood loss or recovery time.
- No head or body frame. Unlike other stereotactic radio-surgical techniques, the CyberKnife system uses the body’s bony structures or implanted markers to find its target (with or without Synchrony).
- No overnight hospitalization. An outpatient treatment, CyberKnife usually allows you to return home the same day.
- Faster and more accurate. Approaching its target from more than 1,400 angles, CyberKnife can deliver high doses of radiation to tumors while avoiding surrounding healthy tissue.
How CyberKnife Treatment Works
Equipped with space-age technology, CyberKnife uses a combination of robotics, image guidance systems and computers to deliver highly concentrated doses of radiation to the precise tumor location while protecting surrounding healthy tissue.
CyberKnife is the only stereotactic robotic radio-surgery system on the market that adjusts for patient or tumor movement during treatment, making it especially suitable for the prostate and convenient for patients. With previously implanted markers (called “fiducials”) to serve as reference points in the prostate, the components work together to plot out the best attack strategy. Throughout the actual procedure, X-ray cameras similar to those found on cruise missiles remain locked on the tumor, showing its exact position.
The robotic arm ensures access to hard-to-reach locations and unparalleled flexibility to approach the tumor from virtually any angle. With laser-like accuracy, CyberKnife’s crossfire technique then delivers as many as 1,400 highly pinpointed beams of radiation to control or destroy the tumor.
What to Expect with CyberKnife Treatment
CyberKnife treatment begins with the implantation in the prostate of four tiny gold fiducials that act as markers or targets for the system’s missile-like rays. Afterward, our team of experienced physicians uses MRIs, CT scans and three-dimensional technology to pinpoint the exact size and location of the patient’s tumor to create a treatment plan.
Approximately a week later, the patient returns for five consecutive days of therapy, with each treatment lasting about an hour. Patients are usually able to resume their normal activities almost immediately. Follow-up consists of regularly scheduled PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests and monitoring.
If you feel that you may be a candidate for CyberKnife treatment for prostate cancer, please call our office today to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive consultation.