More than a cancer fighter
Its name is synonymous with treating brain, lung, liver and prostate cancer. But experts at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham are using it for so much more.
The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System targets tumors and other non-cancerous conditions with unparalleled precision, and has been used to treat patients in Upstate South Carolina since January 2015.
“It turns out, CyberKnife is actually a great tool for treating a number of benign conditions,” said Daniel Fried, MD, medical director at Gibbs Cancer Center at Pelham.
Those benign conditions include:
Trigeminal Neuralgia – A chronic pain condition that affects the fifth cranial nerve, and can be the source of a great amount of facial pain.
“Finding a way to control that pain is absolutely essential for these patients,” Dr. Fried said.
CyberKnife delivers a high dose of radiation precisely to the trigeminal nerve to prevent the transmission of pain signals from the nerve to the brain.
Acoustic Neuromas – Slow-growing, benign tumors of the nerve that connect the ear to the brain.
Arteriovenous Malformation (or AVM) –A tangle of blood vessels in the brain or on its surface that bypasses normal brain tissue and directly diverts blood from the arteries to the veins.
Meningiomas – Benign tumors in the lining of the brain.
A team of physicists and dosimetrists use CT scans to determine the precise amount of radiation to deliver.
“These (meningiomas) can be surgically approached if possible, but they can be in locations that would be very dangerous to operate on,” Dr. Fried said. “In those situations, radiation with CyberKnife becomes a very good approach.”
Every individual CyberKnife treatment plan is created by a team of physicians, physicists and dosimetrists. They use CT scans to determine the precise amount of radiation to deliver.
Whether treating malignant tumors or non-cancerous conditions, CyberKnife combines precise radiation beams with the incredible dexterity of an advanced robot. All conditions are treated in five sessions or less.