Friday, July 6, 2012

Veterinary Highlights: CyberKnife RadioSurgery

Radiation therapy is typically used for local disease control — to damage, and ultimately kill the primary cancer, usually, as a follow-up treatment to surgery.

The conventional radiation therapy usually consists of fifteen to twenty treatments, each of which requires anesthesia.

This is in order to minimize damage to normal cells - the radiation dose is divided into many low dose treatments. The damage to healthy tissue during typical radiation treatments is the reason oncologist was looking for a way to deliver radiation with more precision.

Makes sense, right? Kill cancer and leave the good tissue alone.

Radiosurgery aims to get radiation directly to the tumor while avoiding healthy body tissue.

The new radiation therapy machines can generate very controlled narrow beams that deliver radiation with high precision.

CyberKnife Radiosurgery system uses an image-guided, computerized robotic control system to deliver radiation with unprecedented sub-millimeter accuracy. 

To compare to traditional treatment, a nasal tumor would require fifteen to twenty sessions and would expose the mouth, eyes, and brain to radiation. With this new technique, it can be treated in only three CyberKnife sessions. Some brain tumors are treated in just one treatment!

Further reading:
Radiation Oncology
My Experience with CyberKnife RadioSurgery

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