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UCSF Radiation Oncology


The CyberKnife is a radiosurgery system designed to treat well-defined tumors at any site in the body. The CyberKnife is most often used to treat malignancies located in the brain, spine, head and neck, lung, liver, pancreas, and prostate, but can be used to treat tumors anywhere in the body. The UCSF department of Radiation Oncology is one of the few centers in California to offer this treatment and recently updated to the latest version of the machine — the CyberKnife VSI®.

CyberKnife radiosurgery offers patients advantages over conventional radiation therapy and Gamma Knife radiosurgery. It is a noninvasive system that combines robotics and advanced image guidance, which adjust for a patient's movements and map the precise location of the patient and the lesion during treatment. It can also be used to treat patients who have inoperable tumors or who underwent previous irradiation. The CyberKnife VSI® offers patients a number of advantages over other therapies:

  • Noninvasive, painless treatment
  • Treatment in one to five sessions
  • No need for a head frame with brain treatment
  • Continuous adjustment and correction for motion

The CyberKnife VSI® uses image guidance and robotics to maintain a high degree of precision and is particularly useful for tumors that are close to critical structures. The system's x-ray cameras monitor movement during treatment by tracking small markers implanted in the tumor or by tracking the body's skeletal structures such as the skull. A robotic arm fitted with a linear accelerator aims many small radiation beams at the tumor from multiple different angles. This allows us to give a high radiation dose to the tumor and a low radiation dose to the surrounding normal tissues. The robotic arm automatically compensates for any movement to ensure accurate delivery of each radiation beam. This system effectively combines robotics and advanced image guidance to deliver frameless radiosurgery to many tumors considered untreatable with surgery or conventional radiation.



For more information please see: http://www.cksociety.org/

CyberKnife Program (Alexander Gottschalk MD PhD and Michael McDermot MD, Co-director)
Body (liver, lung, pancreas)
Adam Garsa MD