CyberKnife Treatment Process

Simple, Painless Outpatient Treatment Process

Step 1: Treatment Setup


  • Fiducial Placement – If you are undergoing CyberKnife treatment for a spinal or body (non-head) lesion, you may require a short outpatient procedure to implant several small metal markers (fiducials) near the tumor to enable the CyberKnife to track tumor position throughout treatment.
  • Making a Mask or Body Mold – A custom soft mask (for head/neck treatments) or body mold is formed and used to help minimize movement during the treatment to ensure your comfort.  The process is simple and painless.
  • Imaging – Prior to CyberKnife treatment, a CT, MRI or PET scan is performed to determine the size, shape and location of the tumor. 


Step 2: Treatment Planning

The CT, MRI or PET scan data is downloaded to the CyberKnife treatment planning computer where doctors will use advanced software to customize the number, intensity and direction of radiation beams the robot will send to the target. You do not need to be present during this step. 


Step 3: Treatment Delivery


  • What to Bring – Wear comfortable clothing and no jewelry. You are also welcome to bring a favorite CD to listen to during treatment. And most importantly, try to relax knowing this will be a painless procedure.
  • During Treatment – During a CyberKnife procedure you will lie comfortably on the treatment table, which automatically positions you. The treatment generally lasts between 30 and 90 minutes and is typically completed in a series of one to five visits.
  • Following Treatment – You will leave the CyberKnife suite and usually resume normal activity shortly after treatment.


Step 4: Follow Up

Follow up – Follow up imaging is performed in the months after treatment to assess the tumor’s response to the radiation. 


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