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Judy M.

Difference in Cyberknife and targeted radiostatic surgery

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Just saw the radiology omcologist. He doesn't use Cyberknife and knows little about it. This is what I understood my Med. Oncologist recommmended. What he's talking about doing is a radiostatic radiation targeting the tumors. He seems to think this is the same thing, but admits he knows nothing about Cyberknife. He said 5 or 6 treatments taking minutes. This sounds more like traditional radiation to me. I don't want that. Am I right in thinkking it isn't the same? He was reluctant to treat my tumors this way and wanted to make sure I knew this isn't standard of care. I'm confused. Help!

Judy M

 

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The CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body, including the prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas and kidney.

Radiostatic Surgery  (SRS) is a form of radiation therapy that focuses high-power energy on a small area of the body. Despite its name, radiosurgery is a treatment, not a surgical procedure. Incisions (cuts) are not made on your body. More than one system is used to perform radiosurgery.

While they are the same thing, here is a good explanation that might help:

 

Advertisements for a radiation delivery system called CyberKnife® have prompted a large number of questions from patients inquiring whether it employs a unique new technology.

CyberKnife is used in a type of radiation therapy called stereotactic radiosurgery (also known as stereotactic radiotherapy). This treatment destroys tumors with extremely precise, very intense doses of radiation while minimizing damage to healthy tissue, offering accuracy akin to the sharpness of a surgeon’s scalpel.

Memorial Sloan Kettering radiation oncologist Abraham J. Wu employs stereotactic radiosurgery to treat lung and gastrointestinal cancers. He explains that CyberKnife is a brand name for one of several available stereotactic radiosurgery devices that deliver radiation with linear accelerators, or devices that form beams of fast-moving subatomic particles. The beams are precisely directed through the use of advanced imaging technologies combined with a sophisticated computer guidance system.

“There are a lot of different machines and a lot of different marketing terms thrown around, but they all achieve the same goal, which has two critical components,” Dr. Wu says. “One is delivering a more intense dose of radiation in just a few sessions. The other is targeting the radiation very accurately by pinpointing the precise location of the tumor during treatment.” https://www.mskcc.org/blog/why-am-i-hearing-so-much-about-cyberknife

 

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Thank you so much! Now I'm reassured that this is the same treatment my medical oncologist talked to me about. The radiology oncologist seemed reluctant to go this route and wanted me to know this is not standard of care for stage IV lung cancer. I did know that as my Med. Oncologist told me that. But standard of care seems to be heavy chemo and has pretty low survival rates. My Med. Oncologist said this is moving into standard of care. Which means it's rather new in treating stage IV. Now I just have to hope that my Radiology Oncologist who admitted he's never treated stage IV this way knows the correct dose to use.

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Or ask for referral to someone what has used stereostatic surgery to treat stage IV. Decided to try that. This is my life. Not sure I want to be someone's first effort.

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Tom, how long did your cyberknife radiation treatments take? What I've read says 30-60 min. and 1-5 or 6 treatments. The radiology oncologist I just saw said there would be 5 or 6 but only take a couple of minutes.
Judy M

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Judy,

The set-up for the Cyberknife took about two 1/2 day sessions and one 30 minute surgery.  During the first session, detailed CT scans were taken to map the location of my tumor.  Then I had a surgical procedure with full anesthesia to implant 5 gold seeds around my tumor.  This allows the robotic CyberKnife to map the precise location of tumor in 3 dimensions and also allow for chest movement during respiration.  The last 1/2 session again involved CT scans to calibrate location of the gold implants in relationship to the tumor.  Then a full body mold was prepared using a jell-like substance.  I got dressed in a ploy bag , was placed in a form, and the jell was poured around me.  After the jell solidified, I was lifted out of the form.

I had a total of 3 CyberKnife session.  Each was about 20 minutes long.  I would get into the mold on the apparatus table and had to lay still for about 20 minutes while the robotic arm whirled around me.  I had my choice of music to listen to and except for the "Murphy's law must scratch now" phenomena, it was the easiest cancer treatment I ever experienced.  Three 20 minute sessions, no prep, no muss, no fuss and NED!

Stay the course.

Tom

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That sounds like what I've read about it and what my medical oncologist was talking about. What the Radiology Oncologist was talking about with no seeds to mark my tumors and 5 or 6 treatments lasting only a couple of minutes sounds more like the usual radiation treatment just targeted to only treat the tumors rather than my entire lungs. Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Since the Radiology Oncologist has never done this sort of treatment for stage IV that means my Medical Oncologist has never tried this at this hospital at least. Next time I see him I'm going to ask him why he chose me as a first subject for this. Since he's written a paper on it along with a lot of other Oncologists I think he must have done it at some time somewhere.
Judy M

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That sounds like what I've read about it and what my medical oncologist was talking about. What the Radiology Oncologist was talking about with no seeds to mark my tumors and 5 or 6 treatments lasting only a couple of minutes sounds more like the usual radiation treatment just targeted to only treat the tumors rather than my entire lungs. Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Since the Radiology Oncologist has never done this sort of treatment for stage IV that means my Medical Oncologist has never tried this at this hospital at least. Next time I see him I'm going to ask him why he chose me as a first subject for this. Since he's written a paper on it along with a lot of other Oncologists I think he must have done it at some time somewhere.
Judy M

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Thank you for sharing your story.

Cyberknife is a form of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). SRS has pros/cons compared to traditional care. It would help to have an honest discussion of the risks & benefits of each with a healthcare provider.

Here is an article for more information.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/869251

Cheers.



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Thank you for the article and also for letting me know the term to use for this. I know Cyberknife is actually a machine, but didn't know what else to call it. Amazing the things you find out you don't know and learn on this path. I'm ready to get the ball rolling and get into some treatment before it spreads beyond my lungs, but I'm trying to pray, relax, and trust the Lord's timing. As far as I know stress never improved anything.
Judy M

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If anyone is interested the treatment my Medical Oncologist is talking about can be read online if you type in Durrani Oligometastatic non-small cell lung cancer. I've read it. Just read it again and realized it's pretty specific about the radiation.
Judy M.

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