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CyberKnife® Radiosurgery: Revolutionary Cancer Care

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Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) has significantly enhanced its leadership capabilities in cancer care with the addition of CyberKnife®. There are fewer than 100 CyberKnife® Systems at the world's top medical centers.

What is CyberKnife®?

The CyberKnife® System represents the next generation of radiosurgery systems, combining continuous image guidance technology with a compact linear accelerator. It has the flexibility to move in three dimensions according to the treatment plan. This combination, which is referred to as intelligent robotics, extends the benefits of radiosurgery to the treatment of tumors anywhere in the body.

Technology Highlights:

  • Pain-free, non-invasive, outpatient procedure with minimal side effects
  • Sub-millimeter accuracy equal to frame-based radiosurgery
  • Corrects for patient and tumor movement with continuous image guidance technology
  • Can treat tumors and conditions throughout the body

"CyberKnife® is revolutionary in its degree of precision. We can deliver an extremely potent dose of radiation to a tumor without affecting the healthy tissues around it," said Geoffrey M. Thomas, M.D., neurosurgeon and Director of Neuro-oncology at SJMHS.

Worldwide, physicians have used CyberKnife® to treat more than 20,000 patients. It has demonstrated success with a wide spectrum of cancers:

Brain Lung Pancreas
Head & Neck Liver Prostate

"CyberKnife® provides the option to treat tumors that were untreatable with typical open surgery, or at least were untreatable in the sense that the potential complications would have been too high to contemplate," Thomas added.

In addition, doctors have leveraged the system to treat non-cancerous conditions, such as:

  • Trigeminalgia
  • Meningiomas

This proven, advanced technology was developed by Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARAY), a global leader in the field of radiosurgery. According to an independent study, this revolutionary innovation represents the only extracranial radiosurgery device in widespread use.
(Independent Survey of more than 1,600 hospitals and radiation oncology facilities)

CyberKnife® vs. Gamma Knife:

The technique of radiosurgery was first used in the 1960s. The Gamma Knife was designed to treat brain tumors and movement disorders. To immobilize the patient's head, doctors attached a metal frame to the skull with screws. Use of this frame limited Gamma Knife radiosurgery to intracranial treatments.

CyberKnife® is the latest advancement in radiosurgery. The new technology does not rely on a frame for its refined precision.

"The CyberKnife® System achieves the same accuracy as frame-based radiosurgery, but uses image-guided robotics to avoid the need for a frame," said Walter M. Sahijdak, M.D., radiation oncology specialist at SJMHS. "This approach is not only less invasive for intracranial treatments, but has also made extracranial radiosurgery possible, because it requires no frame."

Click these links for more details on the clinical advantages of CyberKnife®:

Sub-millimeter Accuracy
Clinical Significance

Other Web sites featuring CyberKnife® and its benefits:
(The following websites' content are not owned or maintained by SJMHS.)
CyberKnife® Society
CyberKnife® Coalition
CyberKnife® Patient Support Group

Sub-millimeter Accuracy:

Using a combination of image guidance technology and computer controlled robotics, CyberKnife® autonomously tracks, detects and corrects for tumor and patient movement in real-time during the procedure, enabling delivery of precise, high dose radiation, typically with sub-millimeter accuracy.

With Xsight technology (from Accuray, Inc.), CyberKnife® tracks skeletal structures, and in many cases, eliminates the need for implanted fiducials. The Xsight system localizes spinal targets by direct reference to the adjacent vertebral elements.

Stanford University Medical Center recently conducted a study measuring the accuracy of Xsight:

  • Total system error of Xsight targeting technology was 0.61 mm.
  • The tracking system error component of Xsight was 0.49 mm.

(Stanford University Medical Center Study)

Experience has shown this technology to be robust under a wide range of clinical circumstances.

Clinical Significance:

According to the American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures 2007, physicians will diagnose an estimated 1.4 million new cancer cases this year in the United States. Of these cases, a large percentage are candidates for radiosurgery.

"Accuray is seeing significant demand for the CyberKnife® System to treat extracranial tumors, such as those associated with lung and prostate cancer," said Euan S. Thomson, Ph.D., president and CEO of Accuray. "Recently published reports indicate a potentially significant shortfall in cancer treatment resources associated with the United States' aging population. As a pain free, non-invasive, outpatient procedure - radiosurgery is ideally suited to address this growing need."

Independent research shows that hospitals that have supplemented their radiotherapy or all-purpose units with a dedicated robotic radiosurgery system, such as the CyberKnife® System, have nearly doubled the number of cancer patients treated.

Frequently Asked Questions