Using groundbreaking cruise-missile guidance technology, CyberKnife® offers new hope for patients with otherwise untreatable or inaccessible tumors.
CyberKnife® radiosurgery is a ground-breaking, non-invasive treatment for otherwise untreatable or inaccessible central nervous system tumors – both benign and malignant. Offered at NYU Winthrop (the first such hospital-based facility in the NY Metropolitan area), the CyberKnife® program is spearheaded by both the Divisions of Neurosurgery and Radiation Oncology.
Using equipment that employs cruise-missile guidance technology to target and track tumors and lesions anywhere in the body with computerized image-guided precision, CyberKnife® provides views by x-ray cameras configured with powerful computer software to continuously update the target’s position during treatment. These cameras feed images to a computer-controlled robotic arm carrying an advanced linear accelerator (radiation source) that delivers hundreds of radiation beams to the designated site.
With the data received from the x-rays, the robot is in constant motion. Computers monitor the anatomy, check and recheck the patient’s position and compensate for the slightest movement by instantly repositioning the linear accelerator so it can deliver the radiation beams quickly and accurately. On its own, each beam is relatively weak. However, when the beams converge on the target, their power is strong and precise – so precise that physicians can destroy even deeply imbedded tumors and lesions with complex shapes without harming adjacent healthy tissue.
CyberKnife® radiosurgery can be an alternative to open surgery with some substantial benefits for patients. Treatments are performed on an outpatient basis. Anesthesia is unnecessary. There is no blood loss, and the complication risk is lowered.