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FAQs on CyberKnife Frameless Robotic Radio Surgery
Dr. N. Sathyabhama
 
Presenting a frameless robotic radio surgery, currently available in India through the Apollo Hospitals.

How is CyberKnife different from the existing technology to cure cancerous and non-cancerous tumors?
Traditional radiosurgery systems have limited mobility. They generally require the use of rigid frames attached to a patient’s skull to effectively target a tumor.

Many of the complications associated with other conventional cancer therapies are minimised or eliminated by the CyberKnife system. It can be used to treat tumors previously considered inoperable. Most CyberKnife treatments can be performed even on an outpatient basis. In addition, it is possible to treat multiple tumors at different locations in the body during a single treatment session. The patient normally experiences dramatic pain relief after a CyberKnife treatment. Also, because there is no anesthesia, recovery periods are short.
 
Benefits of CyberKnife Treatment
This trusted technology has been successfully used on 60,000 patients around the world.
  • A new treatment option: this extraordinary sophisticated treatment can be used as an alternative to open surgery. CyberKnife treatment even can often convert a technically inoperable tumor to operable.
  • Pain free: the treatment does not cause pain.
  • No anesthesia is required.
  • Recovery time: a vast majority of CyberKnife treatments are outpatient procedures allowing patients to continue with their daily life.
  • Comparative comfort: many of the available high precision radiation techniques require some kind of frame to be around the patient’s body; CyberKnife meanwhile, can spare the patient this inconvenience. In many of the cases, it is a frameless procedure.
  • Lower risk than the conventional surgery
  • Minimised risk of radiation damage to normal surrounding healthy tissues

Will this technology be available in all Apollo Hospitals across India?

Apollo Hospitals is committed to provide the best treatment for cancer, and thus is bringing to the Asia Pacific, the most advanced technology – the CyberKnife Radiosurgery System, which literally is the next frontier in cancer treatment. In the first phase, it is launched in Chennai, India’s recognised central hub for world class healthcare. Subsequently it will be taken to other centres.
 
How long does a CyberKnife treatment take?
During a CyberKnife procedure, the patient lies comfortably on the treatment table, which automatically positions him/her. Anesthesia is not required, as the procedure is painless and non-invasive. The treatment, which generally lasts between 30 and 90 minutes, typically involves the administration of between 100 and 200 radiation beams delivered from different directions, each lasting 10 to 15 seconds. The patient typically leaves the facility immediately upon completion of the procedure.

How is it actually done?
CyberKnife is a non-invasive alternative to surgery. The source of the therapeutic x-ray (the Linear Accelerator) is mounted on a computer controlled robotic arm. It can aim a pencil-like beam exactly at the target from any direction. This flexibility results in a ‘never seen before’ precision with which beam reaches and destroys the lesion. It is successful in the treatment of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body, including the prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas and kidney.
 
Dr. N. Sathyabhama is Director, Medical Services, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.

    
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