What to Expect
Lung cancer treatment with CyberKnife engages a team approach involving several specialists. Once the team is in place, you will begin preparation for treatment.
Your physicians will identify the location and size of the tumor. Some tumors may require the placement of fiducial markers within the lung to help CyberKnife pinpoint the tumor’s exact location. If fiducial markers are needed, you will be scheduled for a short, minimally invasive outpatient procedure in which three to five tiny gold seeds are inserted into the tumor or surrounding lung tissue. CyberKnife treatment will begin approximately one week later to allow the movement of the fiducial markers to stabilize.
For more information about CyberKnife, please consult with your doctor or call 1-855-DNA-GIBBS.
For those whose tumors do not require fiducial markers, the CyberKnife system will use identifying characteristics of the tumor itself to clearly visualize and track the tumor within the chest as you breathe normally.
Before treatment begins, you will be fitted for a special body cradle. The cradle’s soft material molds to your body and is designed to make treatment more comfortable and ensure consistent body position at each session. You will also be fitted with a special vest worn during treatment that enables the CyberKnife robot to correlate chest motion and breathing patterns with the tumor position. Data generated by the vest allows the robot to precisely follow the tumor’s motion as it delivers each beam of radiation, ensuring safe and accurate radiation delivery.
Your team will also perform a CT scan while you are lying in the cradle. This is to inform the team of the exact size, shape and location of the tumor. Other scans may also may be necessary to fully visualize the tumor and nearby anatomy. Once imaging is done, you will remove the vest and it will be stored with the custom-fit body cradle for subsequent treatment sessions.
A medical physicist, in collaboration with your physicians, will design your unique treatment plan. Once the plan is complete, your treatment will be scheduled and accomplished in three to five sessions.