Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs)
Physicians at Boston Medical Center (BMC) are now offering patients an alternative to surgery for hard to reach brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and tumors. The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery system is a non-invasive treatment for benign or cancerous tumors located nearly anywhere in the body. It is also used as primary or adjunctive therapy in the treatment of brain AVM. The treatment which delivers high doses of radiation to destroy tumors or AVMs with extreme accuracy offers new hope to patients who have inoperable or surgically complex lesions. BMC has the most advanced Cyberknife equipment in Boston.
The Cyberknife uses image-guidance and computer controlled robotics to deliver multiple beams of high-energy radiation to the tumor from virtually any direction. Designed to treat tumors with sub-millimeter accuracy, the Cyberknife tracks the tumor's position, detects any tumor or patient movement and automatically corrects the treatment delivery. This outpatient procedure is pain free, and does not require anesthesia or invasive stabilizing frames, as would be required with current radiation therapy techniques. Most patients experience minimal recovery time and can return to normal activities following their treatment. Depending on the tumor type, size and location, many patients need only one treatment with the Cyberknife to destroy their tumor. Patients with brain AVM may require adjunctive therapy with embolization, or if the AVM is small enough, single therapy with Cyberknife.
Compared to traditional brain surgery, treatment with the Cyberknife provides patients with a faster recovery time with little or no side effects.
In addition to brain tumors and vascular malformations, certain other benign conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia can be treated. The Cyberknife can also treat primary or recurrent tumors in the spine, head and neck, lung, liver and pancreas and prostate.
The Cyberknife allows delivery of high doses of targeted radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy, such that the lesion's surrounding normal brain is subjected to very minimal harm. Such accuracy is critical for preserving as much brain function as possible.