Spinal Cancer CyberKnife® VSI™ Robotic Radiosurgery System
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Robotic Radiosurgery for Spinal Cancer
The CyberKnife® VSI™ Robotic Radiosurgery System enables our radiation oncologists to target tumors in the spine with precisely-directed radiation instead of open surgery.
CyberKnife provides a minimally invasive option for spinal cancer patients who are unable to undergo surgery or who are looking for a nonsurgical option.
How Does CyberKnife Treat Spinal Cancer?
A CT scan first determines the exact size, shape and location of the tumor in the spine. An MRI or other imaging test may also be necessary to fully visualize the tumor and nearby anatomy.
The image data is then digitally transferred into the CyberKnife System’s treatment planning software, so we can precisely plan treatment to match the desired radiation dose to the exact tumor location, and identify critical structures to avoid.
Once treatment planning is complete, the patient is comfortably positioned on a cushioned table. Then, the system’s computer-controlled robot slowly moves around the patient, delivering radiation directly to the spinal tumor.
Depending on the location of the tumor and other factors, CyberKnife treatment for spinal cancer is typically completed over a period of one to five days.
Advantages of CyberKnife for Spinal Cancer
Spinal tumors present a treatment challenge because they can move as the patient breathes. Since standard radiation therapy cannot account for this movement, surrounding healthy tissue can be damaged.
CyberKnife’s sophisticated software and respiratory tracking system allows us to confirm the location of the tumor and continually track the tumor’s movement, in real time, so we can deliver radiation while avoiding damage to the surrounding sensitive spinal cord tissue and other critical structures.
Also, unlike standard radiation therapy in which low doses of radiation are delivered over weeks and months, CyberKnife can treat a tumor in one to five days with extreme accuracy and high radiation doses.
Potential advantages of the CyberKnife VSI system for spinal cancer patients include:
- Sophisticated treatment planning software
- Less damage to nearby critical structures
- Greater comfort during treatment
- Patient can breathe normally during treatment
- Shorter treatment times
- Faster recovery time
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