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CyberKnife eliminates the need to use rigid, invasive head frames commonly required in other radiosurgery techniques, providing a more comfortable treatment experience. With a proven record of success, CyberKnife can be used to treat brain tumors by itself or in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery or whole-brain radiation therapy.
CyberKnife brain tumor treatment engages a team approach involving the following specialists:
With the team in place, preparations begin for CyberKnife treatment. Generally, there are three steps involved:
Unlike other radiosurgery systems, such as the Gamma Knife®, CyberKnife does not require a rigid, invasive head frame. Our radiation therapist will create a soft mesh mask that is custom-fitted to your face. This comfortable, non-invasive mask helps to keep your head and neck still during treatment. While wearing the mask, a CT scan is performed to generate data that determines the exact size, shape and location of the tumor.
Other scans may be necessary to fully visualize the tumor and nearby anatomy. Once imaging is complete, your facemask is removed and stored for use during treatment. A medical physicist and your doctor will design a personalized treatment plan based on collected data.
You will lay comfortably on the treatment table while the personal facemask is secured in place. CyberKnife’s computer-controlled robot will move around quietly to various locations from which it will deliver radiation. Nothing is required of you during treatment, except to relax and lay as still as possible. It is painless and does not require sedation. You are able to communicate with and be seen by the technologists throughout the session.
For most, CyberKnife treatment is comfortable and completely pain free. You may dress comfortably in normal clothes and listen to music during treatment and you are welcome to bring a friend or family member to provide support before and after treatment.
Once treatment is complete, you will quickly return to daily routines with little or no interruption. Side effects vary; few patients may experience minimal side effects that often go away within two weeks. Prior to treatment, our doctors and staff will discuss all possible side effects with you. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to control side effects, should they occur.
After completing treatment, it is important to schedule and keep follow-up appointments. Your doctors will monitor outcomes with imaging such as CT scan or PET-CT Scan in the months and years after treatment.
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