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How CyberKnife Works

CyberKnife® is one of the most advanced and effective stereotactic radiosurgery technologies, which is a method of controlling or destroying tumors by aiming beams of radiation at them from multiple directions. Multiple X-ray cameras and powerful software pinpoint the exact location of a tumor. A robotic arm then aims high-powered radiation beams directly at the tumor from more than 1,400 different angles. Because the robotic arm has unparalleled flexibility, the beams of radiation can be directed even at difficult-to-reach areas of the body. And, because the beams are so precise, they focus only on the tumor, not on any surrounding healthy tissue.

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For a physician referral or to find out if you're a candidate for CyberKnife treatment, please call us.


Synchrony® Respiratory Tracking System

MedStar Health’s CyberKnife system is also coupled with a revolutionary tracking technology called Synchrony. Throughout treatment, even the slightest movement, such as a patient's breathing, will cause tumor movement. By continuously tracking the position of the tumor and correcting for movement in real time, there is minimal radiation spillover to healthy surrounding tissue, including blood vessels, nerves, and vital organs.

See how it works:

What to expect

Your initial consultation: The first time you meet with your treatment team, they’ll explain how it works, as well as the risks and benefits for your diagnosis.

Placement of marker:In some cases, your doctor will implant tiny metal markers, called fiducials, in or near the tumor which will help to accurately guide the radiation beams as your tumors moves while you breathe.

Imaging and mapping: Your cancer team will use a combination of MRIs, CT scans, and 3D technology to understand the size, shape, and location of your tumor. This results in a detailed pictures that helps your doctor plan radiation treatment aimed at your tumor without affecting the healthy tissue around it.

Treatment: You’ll receive one to five hour-long treatments over two weeks. During each session, you’ll change into a gown before laying down on a table. You can listen to an audiobook or music while a robotic arm moves around your body, delivering radiation directly to the tumor. A tracking system monitors the position of the tumor, so you can breathe freely while the treatment beams remain on their target.

Side effects: During the therapy, you won’t feel any pain. And most patients can resume their daily activities immediately following treatment. Your doctor will recommend ways to minimize potential side effects.

Follow up: Once your treatment is complete, you’ll receive regularly scheduled PSA tests to see how well the tumor responded to the Cyberknife therapy. Then your physician will review your results with you in detail, answer any questions, and recommend next steps.

Location Information

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

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