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How CyberKnife® works
CyberKnife® gives patients new hopes for treatment of tumours previously labeled as inoperable or untreatable. As mentioned earlier, the CyberKnife® uses pencil beams of radiation, that can be directed at any part of the body from any direction, via a robotic arm. The vast array of different angles/trajectories from which pencil beams of radiation converge upon the tumour lead to a high cumulative dose of radiation at the convergence point
(the target/tumour), and yet a very fast 'fall-off' of dose towards the periphery of the carefully mapped target. The surrounding normal tissues/organs only receive a small fraction of the high dose to the target.

Whilst the tumour may be destroyed by an efficiently high dose of Cyberknife radiation conventional radiotherapy cannot usually do the same without exposing the surrounding organs leaving behind side effects. CyberKnife® often overcomes this problem by its capability to reach the target area with pinpoint accuracy.
CyberKnife® system consists of an advanced lightweight linear accelerator (LINAC) - this device is used to produce high energy ‘pencil’ beams of radiation.

There is a robot, that can make the linear accelerator point from a wide variety of angles. It’s movements are under the control of a central computer. This centralized computer controlled movement of the system that’s also called as the ’Brain’ of the machine

A pair of X-ray cameras are able to obtain frequent pictures of the patient during the treatment session. The computer uses this information to target the radiation beam with sub-millimeter accuracy.

The use of the robot in the CyberKnife® System is vital in delivering radiation beams accurately whilst movement of the patient or that of the target is closely monitored during the treatment. Any change in the position of the patient is detected by the cameras and then the robot adjusts its position accordingly to allow re-targeting of the linear accelerator before delivering the radiation beam. Use of the robot ensures that there is no need to manually reposition the patient during treatment as a result of movement, thereby slowing down the treatment process.

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