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CyberKnife® - The World's First Non-Invasive Robotic Radiosurgery System

No incisions, No Downtime

If you are a physician and would like to learn more about CyberKnife® training classes, call 832-355-2187.

Introducing the CyberKnife® at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center – the world's first non-invasive robotic radiosurgery system designed to treat cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body.
What is the CyberKnife®?
The CyberKnife® is an image-guided machine that targets and treats cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body. It is a pain-free, non-surgical option for patients who seek an alternative to surgery, or have been diagnosed with an inoperable or surgically complex tumor. The CyberKnife's® innovative technology offers a new level of treatment and a new hope for recovery. 

Benefits Include:

  • No incisions
  • No downtime
  • No pain
  • No required anesthesia
  • No painful head frame bolted to skull
  • Pin point accuracy  

Learn more about CyberKnife® from Dr. Carpenter

How Does It Work?

The CyberKnife® uses image-guided robotics to precisely target and destroy tumors and other lesions with multiple beams of radiation. Each individual beam is not sufficient to cause harm, but the cumulative effect of all the beams at the target results in the lesion receiving a very high dose of radiation with extreme accuracy – protecting and retaining the healthy tissue surrounding it.

The CyberKnife® combines two leading technologies that allow for optimal treatment:

  • Intelligent Robotics: Mounted on a multi-jointed robotic arm, allowing for more flexible delivery, radiation can reach areas of the body that are untreatable with other, more limited radiosurgery systems.
  • Image Guidance: Utilizing x-ray machines that take computerized images throughout the procedure, the CyberKnife® is able to correct for small movements during treatment.   

What Does it Treat?
The CyberKnife® has unlimited reach to treat a broad range of tumors anywhere in the body, unlike some radiosurgery systems which can only treat tumors in the head. It's so precise that radiation can be sculpted to small complex shaped lesions near critical structures, such as hearing or vision nerves. This ability allows the CyberKnife® to treat many tumors and lesions that may have been considered inoperable or untreatable previously, including the prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas, and kidney.      

Is it Clinically Proven?
The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the CyberKnife® for commercial use in 2001. Since then, more than 16,000 patients worldwide have received treatment, and more than 130 medical papers have been published on its use. Its revolutionary design uses radiation technology that has been proven for more than 30 years, producing the most accurate radiosurgery available.

Where Can I Find Treatment?
St. Luke's Radiation Therapy and CyberKnife® facility is the only healthcare facility in Houston to offer the CyberKnife® treatment. Located at 2491 S. Braeswood in Houston (view map), the facility offers a convenient location with free parking. This state-of-the art radiosurgery technology is giving new hope to patients with cancer or inoperable surgically complex tumors.  

CyberKnife® is discussed on an episode of  KHOU's Great Day Houston.

Before Treatment
Your First Consultation: Our goal is to keep you comfortable before and during your treatment. Please bring the following items to your first consultation to ensure a seamless process.

  • Results from any prior tests, and medical, surgical or radiation treatments, as well as pathology reports.
  • A list of current medications, including dose and frequency.
  • Dates of all medical procedures related to your condition.

Receiving Markers or Fiducials: To enable tumor tracking for a spine or body lesion, you may need to undergo a simple, outpatient procedure to implant small metal markers, also known as fiducials, near the tumor. This ensures accuracy of radiation targeting during the CyberKnife® treatment. Although the markers remain in your body permanently, they are virtually undetectable.

  • Making a Mask or Body Mold: To help provide comfort and minimize movement during treatments, a custom mask or body mold is created for each patient. This process is easy and painless.
  • Your First Imaging Scan: After the immobilization device is made, you'll undergo a CT, MRI or PET scan. These images will be downloaded to the CyberKnife® machine so your physician can identify the exact size, shape and location of the area being targeted. This process, known as contouring, takes several days to complete and does not require your presence.
  • Cyberknife

During Treatment

  • Preparing: On the day of your treatment, please arrange for someone to bring you home. You'll also want to avoid coffee or caffeine products at least two hours before your treatment. Unless advised differently, take any medications as prescribed. Wear comfortable clothing, but no jewelry. If you like, you can bring an MP3 player to listen to during treatment.
  • What to Expect: Because the treatment is painless, no sedation or anesthesia is required. You will take off your shoes and lie on the treatment table to be fitted with your custom mask or body mold. As treatment begins, the image guidance system will periodically take x-ray images and compare them to data from the CT scan. This enables the CyberKnife® to accurately target the treatment area even if you make slight movements. The entire procedure lasts 30 to 90 minutes depending on the complexity of the case.

Hear from CyberKnife® patient Bob Baylor

After Treatment

  • Additional Treatments: If your physician has prescribed multiple treatments, also known as fractionated treatments, return appointments will be given – typically scheduled daily or every other day.
  • Follow-up: On the last treatment day, you will be scheduled for follow-up imaging so your physician can examine the results of your radiosurgery treatment.  

Take the Next Step Into the Next Generation of Treatment
If you or someone you know is interested in the revolutionary benefits of the CyberKnife®, call 832-355-4343.  A physician referral is NOT required and our staff is available to discuss your insurance options.

Recent Study on CyberKnife®
The first five-year outcomes on low risk prostate cancer patients treated nationally with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System, which concluded in 2010, have been announced. The multi-center study, published in the January 10, 2011 issue of Radiation Oncology, found that 93 percent of patients had no recurrence of their cancer at a median follow-up of five years, a rate that compares favorably to results obtained with other treatment modalities, including surgery and conventional radiation therapy.

Read the full article

Radiation Therapy