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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

CyberKnife® for colorectal cancer

CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery for colorectal cancer

A tumor in or near the colon or rectum may move as you breathe, making it difficult to accurately target it with standard radiation. As a result, the tumor may not receive enough radiation and healthy tissue near the tumor may be damaged. CyberKnife® software and respiratory tracking system is designed to better locate a colorectal tumor and track its movement, in real time, which may allow more precise delivery of radiation therapy.

What is the CyberKnife® VSI™ robotic radiosurgery system?

CyberKnife® is a non-invasive option for patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors, or who may be looking for an alternative to surgery. The CyberKnife system enables our radiation oncologists to deliver targeted, high doses of radiation to a broad range of tumors throughout the body.

Potential benefits of the CyberKnife system include:

  • No incision
  • No pain
  • No anesthesia or hospitalization
  • Greater comfort (patient can breathe normally during treatment)
  • Little or no recovery time
  • Immediate return to normal activities

How it works

The CyberKnife system’s continual image guidance software allows us to deliver targeted radiation doses, while automatically correcting for tumor movement. Since radiation beams adjust in real-time to the patient’s breathing cycle, the system is designed to cause less damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

“The CyberKnife VSI, a newer generation of CyberKnife technology, is designed to offer faster, higher radiation energy, as well as upgraded software,” says Dr. Michael Payne, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology.

Prior to the procedure, a high-resolution CT scan determines the size, shape and location of the tumor. The image data is then digitally transferred to the CyberKnife System’s workstation, where we plan treatment to match the desired radiation dose to the tumor location.

Once treatment planning is complete, the patient is comfortably positioned on a cushioned table and the system’s computer-controlled robot slowly moves around the table, targeting radiation to the tumor from various angles in an approach designed to spare surrounding healthy tissue.

The system’s software allows us to track the tumor and continually adjust the radiation treatment to account for patient or tumor movement.

Each treatment session lasts between 30 to 90 minutes for one to five days, depending on the location and type of tumor being treated. Patients typically complete treatment in one to five days versus several weeks for traditional radiation therapy.