By: Dr Aditya Gupta
Radiosurgery is a non-invasive, high-precision medical procedure that uses a focused beam of radiation to treat tumors and other medical conditions. It is an advanced and very special form of radiation therapy that delivers high doses of radiation with extreme accuracy to a small volume targeted area. Radiosurgery is used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including benign and cancerous tumors of the brain, spine, lungs, liver, and prostate, as well as non-cancerous conditions such as arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and trigeminal neuralgia.
One of the most advanced radiosurgery systems available today is the M6 CyberKnife. This cutting-edge system combines advanced imaging technology with a robotic arm that delivers high doses of radiation to tumors with sub-millimeter accuracy. The M6 CyberKnife can treat tumors anywhere in the body, including the brain, spine, lungs, liver, pancreas, and prostate. The system uses real-time imaging to track the position of the tumor and automatically adjusts the radiation beam to ensure that the tumor receives the correct lethal dose of radiation.
One of the key advantages of the M6 CyberKnife is its precision. The system can deliver high doses of radiation with extreme accuracy, which minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This precision also allows the M6 CyberKnife to treat tumors that may be difficult to access with traditional surgery, such as tumors located deep in the brain or spine. All this is accomplished without any pain, as this technology is frameless, and does not need a frame to be fixed onto the head.
Benign tumors – are non-cancerous growths that can occur in various parts of the body, including the brain, spine, and lungs. While these tumors are typically not life-threatening, they can cause significant discomfort and affect a person’s quality of life. Traditional surgery can be effective in removing benign tumors, but it can also be invasive and involve significant recovery time. CyberKnife offers a non-invasive alternative that delivers a high dose of radiation to the tumor with extreme accuracy, destroying the tumor cells while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The compelling reason to avoid traditional surgery is also when the tumor is small, which is when radiosurgery is most effective.
AVMs – are a rare condition that occurs when there is a malformation of the blood vessels in the brain or spinal cord. AVMs can cause a variety of symptoms, including headaches, seizures, and neurological deficits. Traditional surgery to remove an AVM can be risky and may involve significant recovery time. CyberKnife offers a safe and effective alternative, delivering a high dose of radiation to the AVM with extreme accuracy, leading to a gradual closure of the blood vessels.
Metastatic tumors – are tumors that have spread to other parts of the body from their original location. Metastasis is a common complication of many types of cancers, including breast, lung, and prostate cancer. Traditional treatments for metastatic tumors include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. CyberKnife offers a targeted approach to treating metastatic tumors, delivering a high dose of radiation to the tumor with extreme precision while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Another advantage of the M6 CyberKnife is its non-invasive nature. Unlike traditional surgery, which requires incisions and can result in significant pain and recovery time, the M6 CyberKnife does not require any incisions or anaesthesia. Patients can typically return to their normal activities immediately after treatment, within MINUTES!
The CyberKnife is a relatively new technology in India, and while there is limited data on its usage, it is steadily gaining popularity among medical practitioners and patients alike. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Cancer in 2019, the CyberKnife system was used to treat a variety of cancers/tumours, but is available in limited centres across the country. Despite having high success rates, effectiveness and 100% safety, this technology is underutilised in India as of now.
While more research is needed to fully understand the impact of CyberKnife on cancer treatment in India, the initial findings suggest that it is a promising option for patients who require precise and non-invasive treatment for various types of tumors and cancers.
The M6 CyberKnife also offers a number of other benefits compared to traditional radiation therapy. For example, the M6 CyberKnife can deliver high doses of radiation in fewer sessions, which reduces the overall treatment time. The system can also adjust the radiation beam to account for patient movement or changes in tumor size, which ensures that the tumor receives the correct dose of radiation.
Overall, the M6 CyberKnife is a highly advanced and effective tool for treating a wide range of medical conditions. Its precision, non-invasive nature and ability to deliver high doses of radiation with extreme accuracy make it an excellent choice for treating neuro and spine tumors, as well as other medical conditions. If you or a loved one is facing a medical condition that may benefit from radiosurgery, be sure to speak with your doctor to learn more about the M6 CyberKnife and other available treatment options. (The author is the Director, Cyberknife, Artemis Hospital, Gurugram)