Spine Cancer Treatment Process

Spine Cancer

  • 1. Your Team

    Spine treatments with the CyberKnife® System involve a team approach, in which several specialists participate. Your team may include:

    • A neurosurgeon
    • An orthopedic surgeon
    • A medical physicist
    • A radiation therapist
    • A dosimetrist
    • Medical support staff

    Once the team is in place, the patient will begin preparation for CyberKnife treatment.

  • 2. Preparation

    During set-up and imaging, you may be fitted for a custom body cradle, which is designed to keep you more comfortable and ensures you are in the same position for both imaging and treatment. If the tumor is in the upper cervical region, you also may require a custom-fitted mesh face mask.

    You then will undergo a CT scan, and possibly an MRI or other type of imaging study, to help determine the exact size, shape and location of the tumor.

  • 3. Treatment Plan

    Using the imaging data, your medical team will determine the size of the area being targeted by radiation, the radiation dose, and identify critical structures – such as the spine or nearby organs – where radiation should be minimized.

    The CyberKnife System then calculates the optimal radiation delivery plan, leveraging its extreme maneuverability to deliver a safe and accurate treatment.

  • 4. Treatment

    During treatment, the CyberKnife System’s computer-controlled robot will move around your body to various locations from which it will deliver radiation.

    At each position, it will stop to determine precisely where the radiation should be delivered.

    Nothing will be required of you during treatment, except to relax and lie as still as possible.

  • 5. Post-treatment

    Most patients experience minimal side effects and can quickly return to their daily routines with little interruption to their normal activities. Doctors will discuss all possible side effects prior to treatment and may prescribe medication to control any side effects, should they occur.

    You also should schedule and attend any follow-up appointments.