Modern cancer and tumour therapy consists of a variety of different treatment methods. Next to the surgical removal of the tumours, many different drugs (e.g. chemotherapy, immunotherapy, etc) can be used as treatment as well as radiotherapy. Choosing the best method varies from patient to patient and depends on many factors. For example, the individual circumstances of the patient. Radiosurgery is a special form of radiotherapy. It treats the tumour by hitting it with high and effective doses of radiation while being as gentle as possible to the nearby healthy tissue. To achieve this, a variety of single rays from different directions are combined to cross exactly in the tumour. The required flexibility of the CyberKnife® is achieved through a unique combination of a compact linear accelerator and a highly precise robotic arm. Before planning and therapy, the tumour is localised with a specially adapted imaging process. The physical planning then creates a virtual plan which predicts if the tumour can be precisely hit and how much the healthy tissue is going to strained. This form of planning ensures a highly effective treatment and the maximum protection of the healthy tissue. The system has multiple processes to control movement which monitor the entire treatment in real-time. Thanks to this a high spatial precision is achieved. This kind of therapy makes it possible to definitely and ultimately kill cancerous cells in more than 90% of cases without hurting healthy tissue.
„Radiosurgery has evolved in the last few years. The Gamma Knife®, as a historic pioneer, has been expanded with an imaging system. By continuing this concept, the CyberKnife® offers even more liberty in planning and real-time motion control. Through the combination of a 6-axis-robot with a compact linear accelerator, the range of application of high precision radiation therapy can be extended on the whole body. The CyberKnife® system has one special quality – it can follow moving target volume (e.g. tumours in lung or liver) in real-time. With that, the target volume is reduced considerably and the surrounding risk structures are protected.“
Dipl.-Ing. Boris Dettinger, M.Sc.
Medical physics expert