MultiCare Health System

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What is CyberKnife?

Treatment Process

Scanning

Prior to treatment with the CyberKnife, the patient undergoes imaging procedures to determine the size, shape and location of the tumor. The process beings with a standard high-resolution CT scan, or for certain tumors other imaging techniques, such as MRI, angiography or PET, may also be used.                          
 

Planning

CyberKnife Planning ImageFollowing the scanning, the image data is then digitally transferred to the CyberKnife’s treatment planning workstation, where the treating physician identifies the exact size, shape and location of the tumor.

A qualified clinician then uses the CyberKnife software to generate a treatment plan to provide the desired radiation doses to the identified tumor location while avoiding damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. The patient does not need to be present during this step in the process.

Treatment

CyberKnife TreatmentDuring a CyberKnife procedure, a patient lies comfortably on the treatment table, which automatically positions the patient. Anesthesia is not required, as the procedure is painless and non-invasive.

The treatment generally lasts between 30 and 90 minutes and is typically completed in one to five visits.


Follow-up

Follow-up imaging, generally performed with a combination of CT, MRI and/or PET scanning, is usually performed in the months following treatment to assess the tumor’s response to the delivered radiation.