How does CyberKnife® treat lung cancer?

CyberKnife is a non-invasive outpatient stereotactic radiation therapy treatment with minimal to no side effects. During the CyberKnife treatment, hundreds of highly concentrated and incredibly precise beams of radiation are targeted directly to tumors and lesions in the lung. As the patient breathes during the CyberKnife treatment, the CyberKnife robotic arm moves with the rise and fall of his/her body – meaning that healthy tissue is protected from radiation and only the tumor is treated.

How does it work?

The CyberKnife treatment for lung cancer tumors and lesions is delivered in five or fewer outpatient treatment sessions. Each session may last up to one hour and the recovery time after treatment is minimal to none.

Before treatment, a radiation oncologist will determine whether the patient’s tumor may need implanted fiducial markers. Fiducials are tiny markers inserted into the tumor to guide the CyberKnife system track the tumor during treatment. The patient will also be fitted with a custom body support pad, which will help him/her remain relaxed and still during treatment. To monitor breathing, the CyberKnife team will provide the patient with a comfortable LED-enhanced vest or shirt to wear during treatment.

During treatment, the patient will lie still, relax, and breathe normally as the CyberKnife’s computer-controlled robotic arm moves around his/her body, delivering radiation directly to the tumor or lesion.

After treatment, patients may resume normal activities.

What are the risks and side effects?

CyberKnife treatment involves few to no side effects, with the most common being fatigue. A dry cough or lung inflammation can occur, which may require medication but will likely resolve naturally.The vast majority of CyberKnife treatments allow patients to resume their normal routines afterward. Some patients actually take naps during their treatments while others have reported going to lunch or mowing their lawns following treatment.

How effective is it?

As numerous clinical studies show, CyberKnife offers effective treatment option for lung cancer tumors while carrying an extremely low likelihood of negative side effects. CyberKnife’s ability to treat tumors and lesions at an extremely precise level makes it an alternative treatment to surgery and conventional radiation therapy for patients with complex tumors and for patients seeking non-invasive ways to treat their tumors or lesions.

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