How Does CyberKnife Work?

During CyberKnife® treatment, you will lie comfortably on a treatment table while the machine’s robotic arm moves around you, aiming and firing targeted radiation beams from numerous angles. The cumulative dose of radiation kills tumor cells while minimizing exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue.

CyberKnife has an advanced imaging and tracking system that continually monitors the tumor location during the treatment procedure and compensates for normal movements like breathing to ensure the radiation beams are always locked on the tumor.

Treatment sessions typically last 30-90 minutes. Depending on your specific condition, you may need a custom-fitted mesh facemask or body mold made of soft material. The fitting procedure is painless. CyberKnife doesn’t need an invasive head frame like the ones commonly used with older systems and the Gamma Knife® to stabilize a patient’s skull.

Before beginning CyberKnife treatment, some patients being treated for tumors or lesions outside of the head and neck may need small metal markers known as fiducials implanted at the tumor site to help aim the CyberKnife’s radiation beams. Implanting the markers is an outpatient procedure and usually takes about an hour.