When is this procedure indicated?
It is possible to use Cyber Knife to treat lesions from very small to several centimeters in diameter such as lung, liver, bone, encephalic, lymph node, pancreatic, breast and prostate carcinomas. It represents a valid and effective alternative to surgical treatment as it allows to deliver ablative doses with extreme precision.
How is it performed?
The procedure includes a preparatory phase with centering CT scan with or without MDC depending on the site to be irradiated and sometimes associated with a centering MRI (e.g. for the treatment of brain lesions). For some sites of disease, it may be necessary to implant small clips that are recognized by the equipment and allow tracing the movement of the lesion. An exclusive feature of CyberKnife is the robotic arm that moves the equipment with 6 degrees of freedom in the space around the patient, with the advantage of being able to correct the direction of the treatment beam according to the displacement of the lesion to be treated, in a completely automatic way and without interruptions or repositioning of the patient. In addition, the robot is able to move the equipment in the space around the patient, generating a large number of radiation beams at different orientations, a peculiarity alowing for obtaining highly conformed dose distributions and, at the same time, extreme saving of healthy tissues surrounding the target.High conformality and the immediate dose drop around the lesion to be treated, together with the precision of beam addressing, allow the use of high doses of irradiation in one or a few treatment sessions.
The possible acute effects, generally of modest entity and duration, are related to the irradiated site and depend on the inflammation generated by the irradiation. Depending on the irradiated site, therapies to prevent these effects are prepared.
Possible late effects, generally rare, are related to the irradiated site and are managed during follow-up visits.