Can My Case Be Treated?
Each CyberKnife centre may adopt slightly different criteria, but the following points are likely to be key.
Which factors would make my case suitable?
A separate treatment plan has to be set up for each tumour and each requires a large number of radiation pulses with tracking in between. For this reason most centres will restrict treatment to a small number of tumours.
CyberKnife uses very fine, high power radiation beams and is best suited to small tumours.
We give some guidance on the CyberKnife Treatments page but you should not assume that because you do not see your type on the list that it cannot be treated.
Type of tumour
Because CyberKnife delivers high dosages of radiation to narrowly defined targets it is best suited to situations where the tumour is well delineated from the surrounding healthy tissue.
Location of tumour
This is the great strength of CyberKnife - dangerous locations and complex shapes which would bar open surgery may still be open to CyberKnife, so this should definitely not deter your enquiry.
What if my tumour is too large for CyberKnife but the location is too dangerous for surgery?
It may be possible to reduce the tumour mass first, by surgery or chemotherapy and then treat the remaining tumour with CyberKnife.
Because of the high accuracy of CyberKnife it can sometimes be used even when you have already had the maximum conventional radiotherapy treatment.
Metastasis before and 4 weeks after treatment.
Click picture to enlarge
It takes longer to treat a large tumour and the radiation exposure to adjacent healthy tissue increases, so centres impose a maximum size.
Are there any other options?
MHL brings you the latest in medical advances, as centres become available to international patients, so you might also consider Proton Therapy (this link will take you to our website MHLclinics.com).
Although CyberKnife radiation beams are much finer and more accurate than conventional radiotherapy beams, sound tissue in fornt of and behind the target is still affected by radiation.
As yet there are few proton therapy centres outside the USA and Japan, but we work with ProCure Proton Therapy Centers in the USA (Chicago, Seattle, Oklahoma and New Jersey) and with PTC Czech in Prague, Czech Republic.
What if I have already had the maximum radiotherapy?
Size of tumour
Number of tumours
CyberKnife can avoid open surgery in some cases, but the treated matter is not removed. The body can reabsorb small amounts of dead matter but larger tumours may pose problems.
Characteristics of tumour
More information is available from the manufacturer's web site for patients cyberknife.com, where you will find their latest guidance notes.
Proton therapy centres can cost €200m - €300m to build, so treatment is more expensive than CyberKnife radiosurgery, but proton therapy can sometimes treat tumours that have grown too large for CyberKnife.
Proton therapy is a gentle form of radiation treatment where exposure of tissue in front of the target is greatly reduced, a high dose of radiation is deposited accurately within the target and little energy penetrates beyond this.
Side effects are reduced and there is less danger of radiation-induced cancer arising later in life.
MHL CyberKnife Service
Proton therapy has definite advantages over CyberKnife in some circumstances, and especially for children.
Chemotherapy is another option for more advanced and widespread cancers, though many patients find the side-effects to be severe and the outcome uncertain.
More proton centres are under construction or in planning.
DNA-based analysis is now possible however, which can identify the best available drugs for a particular person and their cancer.
We do not recommend any treatment or centre and we shall not be responsible for the outcome of any treatment or failure to diagnose or treat. We recommend that patients obtain professional medical advice before agreeing to any medical procedures.
Important note to all patients
PPM Consult Ltd. promotes clinics and specialities within individual hospitals where we believe the treatments or medical equipment to be exceptional. We provide general information but we cannot advise on individual cases.