“Radiosurgery” is a special technique that uses a very high dose of radiation with utmost precision (in a single session or max 5 sessions) to destroy small or moderate sized (upto 3 cms diameter)tumors and other diseases within the brain and spine. This is the main difference between this technique and Radiotherapy, which typically involves delivering small doses every day typically for 20-30 sessions, with lesser accuracy, to much bigger tumors.
CyberKnife Radiosurgery is a precise, painless, non-invasive radiation treatment that can be an alternative to open surgery in certain cases. Multiple beams of high energy radiation are delivered from multiple points outside of the body and converge precisely at the tumor or lesion inside the body. Each individual beam is not sufficient to cause harm, but the convergence of all the beams at the tumor results in the lesion receiving a very high dose of radiation while sparing nearby normal tissue
While radiotherapy is used for malignant tumors, Radiosurgery is also very useful for small sized benign tumors and also other diseases in and around the brain.
- Acoustic neuroma
- Pituitary Adenomas
- Glomus tumors
- Other benign tumors
- Brain metastases
- Glial tumors
- Cavernous hemangioma
The CyberKnife radiosurgery treatment process generally requires six simple steps from begin to finish:
1. Evaluation – Though it may vary based on your specific treatment, in Artemis each case is evaluated by a team of clinicians, including a radiation oncologist, surgeon, medical physicist, radiation technician and nurse coordinator.
2. Imaging – Prior to treatment, an MRI and a CT or CT/PET scan is taken to determine the size, shape and location of the tumor(s) and these images are then sent to a specialized workstation to start planning of the treatment.
3. Treatment Planning – Using images from a CT scan, the data is digitally transferred to the CyberKnife® Systems treatment planning workstation, where our qualified physicians identify the tumor(s) to be targeted and the surrounding vital structures to be avoided. This plan is designed to match the desired radiation dose to the tumor location and limit radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue.
4. Treatment – Once the treatment plan is developed, the patient can begin their CyberKnife treatments. The patient will be comfortably positioned on the treatment table. Then the CyberKnife Systems computer-controlled robot will carefully move around to deliver radiation at various locations as prescribed by the treatment plan. At the same time, the CyberKnife System is taking continual X-ray images that will provide real-time information about the location of the tumor and enable the system to dynamically track and correct for any movement of your tumor. Depending on the type and location of your tumor, you can expect to undergo between one and five treatment sessions.
5.Recovery – Most CyberKnife patients do not experience side effects. Depending on the type of treatment they receive, the side effects will vary. Patients that do experience side effects are typically mild and considered acute and do not require intervention. Patients should speak to their doctor and discuss what side effects may occur and learn about potential risks.
Radiosurgery using the Cyberknife has excellent results, provided that the proper patients are selected, and the treatment is performed by an experienced team.
For example, the tumor control rates for Radiosurgery on typical acoustic schwannomas, meningiomas or pituitary adenomas, which are all benign tumors are more than 95%.
After radiosuregry, almost 90% of appropriately selected AVMs (arteriovernous malformations) will disappear over 3-4 years
The probability of having a radiation induced adverse event for most patients who are well selected for cyberknife radiosurgery, should be less than 5% in the hands of a good team.
Dr Aditya Gupta is a senior and accomplished neurosurgeon, and one who has among the best experience in India in the field of Radiosurgery today.
He has a personal experience of treating almost 3000 patients, across various platforms such all the versions of Gamma Knife, Synergy S and now Cyberknife for the past 5 years.
He has organized many conferences and teaching programs to teach youinger neurosurgeons about this valuable method of treating tumors and other diseases.