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Raising funds for CyberKnife Cancer Radiotherapy Treatment
The CyberKnife Robotic Stereotactic Radiosurgery System is a non-invasive alternative to open surgery for the treatment of tumours anywhere in the body. It is considered a major advancement in the radiological treatment of cancer. It has given patients another treatment option with the development of the world’s first robotic radiosurgery system.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a medical procedure that enables very high doses of radiation to be targeted directly at the tumour with pinpoint accuracy. This non-invasive “operation” has proved to be an effective alternative to surgery or standard radiation techniques, treating previously ‘hard to reach’ tumours or surgically complex tumours. Due to the pinpoint accuracy of the CyberKnife System it is also able to successfully treat areas of the body which have previously received the maximum dose of radiation. This pinpoint accuracy means that radiosurgery is now no longer limited to treating intracranial and spinal tumours.
The CyberKnife System uses image–guidance and computer controlled robotics to deliver multiple beams (approx 400 beams) of high energy radiation from virtually any direction. The system uses image guidance cameras similar to those used for cruise missile guidance. As a result the tumour receives a high enough dose of radiation to kill the tumour cells whilst minimising damage to surrounding tissues. It is accurate to less than 1mm.
Radiosurgery is limited to lesions that are well defined and usually no larger than 3-4cm. More than one lesion can be treated during the CyberKnife treatment. The location of the lesion is important, for example, lesions close to radiosensitive structures, such as the optic nerve are not ideal targets for radiosurgery but can often be treated with fractionated radiosurgery.
Standard stereotactic radiosurgery techniques rely on a rigid frame fixed to the patient’s skull for head immobilisation. These systems are generally uncomfortable for the patient and they often require breath holding techniques, which may be difficult for some patients, require larger treatment areas and prolonged treatment times. These type of frame based systems mean there are limited angles that the radiation can be delivered. Typically a centre can only treat one patient per day.
The CyberKnife System offers manoeuvrability and versatility that other systems cannot offer, therefore now making it possible to treat tumours anywhere in the body, including the brain, spine. liver, lung, pancreas and prostate.
The combination of image guidance cameras and the very latest computer technology ensures that the CyberKnife System is able to overcome the limitations of older frame-based radiosurgery systems, such as the Gamma Knife and LINAC. Centres would also be able to treat more than one patient per day.
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The Stan Bowley Trust is a registered Charity No.1144398 working in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Charity registered Charity Number 1093989