Members of the expert CyberKnife team at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. Learn more about our physicians and staff.
Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, which is the part of a man's reproductive system that helps produce semen. It is located under the bladder, behind the rectum, and it surrounds the urethra, which is a tube that urine passes through.
Cancer develops when cells begin to grow abnormally in the prostate. Prostate cancer is very common in men older than 50. For some men, prostate cancer does not produce symptoms. For others, prostate cancer can cause difficulty urinating, blood in the urine and pain in the lower back and pelvis.
Treating Prostate Cancer with CyberKnife Radiation
Surgery and conventional radiation are common treatments for prostate cancer. But the prostate is a moving target-it moves when urine fills and then empties from the bladder and when air moves into the rectum. This movement makes accessing the prostate-during either surgery or conventional radiation-without affecting surrounding healthy tissue a challenge. The cure rates for prostate cancer with this technology are over 90%.
CyberKnife offers a convenient, effective and minimally invasive alternative.
CyberKnife uses computers and imaging tools to find the exact location of the tumor. The technology tracks the movement of the prostate and the tumor as a patient breathes and as other bodily processes occur. The tool operates with enough precision and accuracy to allow doctors to focus radiation on the tumor itself and not on surrounding healthy tissue.
Meet David Winfield, a longtime employee of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. When he learned he had prostate cancer, he decided CyberKnife was right for him.
CyberKnife may be your best option if:
- Your lesion or tumor is untreatable by surgery or other radiation modalities
- You have previously undergone radiation treatments
- You are elderly, frail or otherwise in compromised health
Benefits of CyberKnife
Not only can CyberKnife target tumors that were previously considered unreachable or inoperable, the sophisticated system is a great advancement in patient ease and comfort, offering the following advantages:
- No pain — Because the procedure is a nonsurgical approach, there is no anesthesia, incision, blood loss or recovery time.
- No head or body frame — Unlike other stereotactic radiosurgical techniques, the CyberKnife system uses the body’s bony structures or implanted markers to find its target (with or without Synchrony).
- No overnight hospitalization — An outpatient treatment, CyberKnife usually allows you to return home the same day.
- Faster and more accurate — Approaching its target from more than 1,400 angles, CyberKnife can deliver high doses of radiation to tumors while avoiding surrounding, healthy tissue.
Fewer Sessions with CyberKnife
CyberKnife seems to be as effective for certain localized prostate cancers as other radiation therapies and with fewer treatments. CyberKnife produces the desired effect in only five sessions, as compared to the approximately 40 sessions required by the three-dimensional conformal external beam treatment or, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). The other alternative, internal radiation treatment brachytherapy (seed therapy), is administered in a single session, but gives off its radiation continuously for three months.
What Should I Expect from Treatment with CyberKnife?
- CyberKnife treatment begins with the implantation in the prostate of four tiny gold fiducials that act as markers or targets for the system’s missile-like rays.
- Afterward, a team of experienced physicians uses MRIs, CT scans and three-dimensional technology to pinpoint the exact size and location of the patient’s cancer to create a treatment plan.
- A week or two later, the patient returns for five days of therapy over one to two weeks, with each treatment lasting about an hour.
- Patients are usually able to resume their normal activities almost immediately.
- Follow-up consists of regularly scheduled PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests and monitoring.
Is CyberKnife Right for You?
From CyberKnife® to clinical trials to conventional therapies, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center gives men with prostate cancer more options, including one that’s right for you.
For a physician referral for CyberKnife treatment, please call 410-248-8031.
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237