For Medical Professionals
There are four steps to the CyberKnife® treatment process:
- Scanning — Prior to CyberKnife treatment, patients must have complete imaging studies to determine the exact size, shape and location of the tumor. This may include CT and MRI scans, angiography or a PET scan.
- Treatment Planning — After the appropriate scans the images are digitally transferred to the CyberKnife System. Boston Medical Center's physicians and physicists create an individual treatment plan based on the patient's history, physical findings and tumor size, location and type. This ensures that an effective dose of radiation is delivered to the tumor, while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. The patient does not need to be present during this step.
- Treatment Delivery — During the CyberKnife treatment, the patient is able to lie comfortably on the treatment table. Anesthesia is not required and the procedure is completely painless. Each treatment generally lasts between one to three hours and the treatment course is typically completed in one to five visits.
- Follow-Up — The first follow-up images are generally taken one to three months after treatment and then periodically, depending on the patient's diagnosis. Patients are generally seen in follow-up by members of their multidisciplinary CyberKnife team one month after their treatment and every three to six months thereafter.