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Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Cancer Appeal

CyberKnife is an amazing non-invasive alternative to open surgery in treating tumours anywhere in the body


What does mean?

Like TomoTherapy TomoHD, it enables very high doses of radiation to be targeted directly at the tumour with pinpoint accuracy, without damaging healthy tissue.

Its full name is CyberKnife Robotic Stereotactic Radiosurgery System – an option for patients diagnosed with previously inoperable or surgically complex tumours.

Standard stereotactic radiosurgery techniques rely on a rigid – and generally uncomfortable – frame to keep the patient’s head still when treating brain tumours.

Conventional approaches require larger treatment areas and prolonged treatment times, as well as limited angles at which the radiation can be delivered.

With computer-controlled robotics and image guidance cameras similar to those used in cruise missiles, the CyberKnife system delivers high energy radiation from virtually any direction to kill tumour cells whilst minimising damage to surrounding tissues.


What do patientsget out of it?

  • It’s pain-free, non-invasive and a real alternative to conventional open surgery
  • Tumours can be treated anywhere in the body, including the brain, spine, liver, lung, pancreas and prostate
  • Stronger more accurate doses of radiation directly to the tumour mean that the number of treatment doses can be shortened
  • Lesions/tumours that have previously had the maximum dose of standard radiation can be treated
  • It can generally be done as an Out-Patient procedure, with no anaesthetic required, no recovery time and no blood loss
  • Patients can be treated in as few as one to five visits
  • Side effects are minimal and patients can immediately return to normal activity

In short, it improves the patient’s life during and after treatment. With your help, this amazing therapy can give more quality to a patient’s life, reducing the impact cancer has on everyday living.


Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Cancer Appeal website