CyberKnife® is a precision radiotherapy device based on robot technology that enables patient-friendly, efficient and safe radiotherapy. The device allows the treatment to be targeted to the right place, saving healthy tissue. This makes it possible to treat cancerous tumours even in difficult locations.
For example, the tumours of the brain and spine, cancers of the internal organs and prostate cancer can be treated. The precision of CyberKnife® technology allows healthy tissue to be saved and uses higher doses of radiotherapy, reducing the number of needed radiotherapy sessions.
The CyberKnife® device at Kuopio University Hospital is the first and so far, the only one in Finland and the Nordic countries.
CyberKnife is used for the radiotherapy of various benign and malignant tumours throughout the body. The treatment is painless and the treatment periods are short and effective.
Radiation therapy always requires a referral from the attending physician as well as an assessment by a specialist as to whether the patient can be treated with the CyberKnife® treatment device.
How do I refer a patient to a CyberKnife consultation? See our guide for physicians referring patients to CyberKnife®.
Localized prostate cancer is the optimal target for precision radiotherapy, as it allows for higher single doses than conventional radiotherapy and thus reduces the number of treatments. To locate a radiotherapy target for prostate cancer patients, gold markers are placed in the prostate for treatment. After the markers are in place, pelvic CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) are performed for planning radiotherapy. There are five treatments for prostate cancer, usually 2–3 per week. Usually, one treatment lasts less than an hour and the entire treatment period is about two weeks. Due to the radiotherapy technology and the precise image control of the device, the risk of urinary and rectal disorders is low.
About half of the CyberKnife patients in our clinic have localized prostate cancer. By the end of 2019, our unit has treated almost 1,000 patients with good treatment results.
Relatively small, single and well-defined tumours are best suited for precision radiotherapy. The expected response of tumours is shrinkage or growth arrest. Complete occlusion is the treatment goal with vascular malformations.
The CyberKnife® treatment is always carried out by a team of specialists, hospital physicists and radiologists. The patient's suitability for treatment is decided by a doctor of cancer and radiotherapy or a neurosurgeon with neurosurgical patients. Suitability is affected by, among other things, the location of the treatment site, the classification of the disease and the general well-being of the patient.
The hospital physicist will prepare a personal dosing plan for the patient for the treatment site specified by the physician. The treatment is carried out by the radiologist of the radiotherapy unit, who also takes care of all appointments related to the treatment before the start of the treatment period.