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CyberKnife for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer diagnosis in men, according to the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. With CyberKnife at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham, radiation therapy for prostate cancer is completed in just five sessions, compared with 40 to 45 sessions using conventional radiation therapy. CyberKnife’s robotic tracking technology enables continuous coordination with tumor movement during treatment. This is especially important if when receiving treatment for prostate cancer.

Average Number of Treatments

Standard RadiationCyberKnife M6
Prostate 40-45 4-5
Brain 10-30 1
Lung Lesions 10-35 3-4
Liver 10-30 3

Treatment at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham gives you access to the latest advancement in CyberKnife technology with the recent introduction of a second generation multi-leaf colmnater. A state-of-the-art upgrade that, when combined with the CyberKnife’s advanced robotic targeting, has cut prostate cancer treatment times in half, while reducing radiation to other vital organs.

Additionally, Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham is one of the first in the U.S. to use SpaceOAR®, the first FDA-approved method for placing a “spacer” that moves the prostate away from the rectum. This allows delivery of radiation to the prostate while providing additional protection of the rectal area. The CyberKnife/SpaceOAR combination at Gibbs results in fewer visits, shorter treatment times and fewer side effects.

For more information about CyberKnife, please consult with your doctor or call 1-855-DNA-GIBBS.

CyberKnife candidates include most low-risk and favorable intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients. Prostate size is not an issue.

Effectiveness of CyberKnife therapy for prostate cancer has proven to be similar to other treatment outcomes at five years. Potential issues, such as bladder incontinence, have been greatly reduced with use of CyberKnife when compared to surgery or other invasive treatments. Your follow-up visits with the radiation oncologist and your primary care doctor or urologist will include monitoring serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels — the best measure of disease control. PSA levels may change, but over time, you can anticipate levels will decrease – an indication that the tumor was destroyed.

What to Expect

Two weeks prior to treatment, you will be scheduled for a short, minimally invasive outpatient procedure for placement of fiducial markers and SpaceOAR. Fiducial markers are three to five tiny gold seeds that are inserted into the prostate. The fiducial markers guide the CyberKnife system to track the tumor during treatment.

SpaceOAR consists of a water-based hydrogel that is injected through a small needle into the body as a liquid; it quickly solidifies into a soft gel that expands the space between the prostate and rectum. The hydrogel spacer maintains the separation until radiotherapy is complete. It then liquefies and is cleared from the body in your urine. Most patients report little or no discomfort.

One week before treatment, you will have a treatment planning session and MRI. Your customized CyberKnife treatment plan enables radiation to be contoured to the prostate’s exact shape.


You will lay on the treatment table as the CyberKnife’s computer-controlled robotic arm moves around quietly, delivering radiation directly to the tumor. Treatment is painless, does not require sedation and is completed in four to five sessions. You are able to communicate with and be seen by the technologists throughout treatment.

For most, CyberKnife treatment is completely pain free. You may dress comfortably in normal clothes and listen to music during treatment and are welcome to bring a friend or family member to provide support before and after treatment.


After treatment is complete, you can likely return to normal activities immediately. Side effects are few, if any. Our doctors and staff will discuss all possible side effects prior to treatment. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to control side effects, should they occur.

Because the CyberKnife was designed to preserve healthy tissue and critical anatomy, it can reduce side effects that impact quality of life, including sexual, urinary and bowel function. Fewer treatment sessions result in minimal interruption to work, family and hobbies.

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