Our Brain Cancer Treatment Options in Los Angeles

The Pasadena CyberKnife Center offers one of the most effective treatment options in the Los Angeles area for both operable and inoperable brain tumors. And, CyberKnife is becoming the industry-leading technology for radiation treatments ordered in conjunction with surgery, or for recurring brain tumors, even if you’ve already had radiation. The non-invasive, pain-free CyberKnife Radiosurgery System is clinically proven to effectively treat brain cancer using a combination of a flexible robotic arm, real-time imaging, and intelligent tumor-tracking software. The radiation oncologists at Pasadena CyberKnife are expert in administering high doses of radiation directly to the tumor, while minimizing damage to surrounding tissues and lessening side effects.

How Are Brain Tumors Treated?

Because of its location, the treatment of brain cancer is a precise and delicate process. When you choose Pasadena CyberKnife, our expert radiation oncologists will work with your team of caregivers including your neurosurgeon, medical physicist, and other support staff to determine where CyberKnife may best serve as a role in your treatment.

These experts will create your treatment plan based on several factors, including:

  • Size of the brain tumor(s)
  • Type of tumor (different types of primary tumors are treated differently as our tumors that metastasize from other parts of the body)
  • Location of the tumor in your brain and what pressure it may be putting on certain areas
  • The tumor’s grade, or aggressiveness in growing and spreading
  • Possible side effects
  • Your own health and preferences
  • Your quality of life during and after treatment

Brain cancer can be treated in several ways, or in a combination of ways, based on your team’s analysis:

  • Active Surveillance (watching the tumor to see how/if it grows)
  • Surgery (removing the tumor through surgical incision in the skull)
  • Chemotherapy (using a combination of drugs, given intravenously, to stop cancer cell growth)
  • Targeted therapy (using drugs that stop cancer from growing by targeting specific genes or proteins)
  • Radiation therapy (using high-energy waves such as x-rays, gamma rays or electron beams to kill or damage cancerous cells)

Other types of therapy are being developed and tested such as proton beam radiation therapy and biologic therapy.

CyberKnife Treatment For Brain Cancer

Whether the tumors are benign or malignant, brain cancer poses a serious threat because the tumors can affect the brain’s ability to perform everyday bodily functions such as moving, eating, and breathing. Oftentimes, doctors recommend surgery to remove the mass and thereby relieving any pressure on those important brain parts. But the CyberKnife Radiosurgery System is a key tool for many other patients with brain cancer, such as:

  • Brain cancer patients with tumors growing in hard-to-reach places within the brain or infiltrating around important tissues making it dangerous to attempt removal.
  • Brain cancer patients who are too weak or ill to withstand the stress of surgery.
  • Brain cancer patients who simply do not want to take the risks or the time it takes to properly recover from surgery.
  • Brain cancer patients who have had surgery, but now require radiation to help ensure the cancer does not return.
  • Brain cancer patients whose cancer has returned at any time, sometimes in conjunction with chemotherapy and clinical trials.
  • Patients who previously received external beam radiation and are not candidate for more conventional radiation treatment.

CyberKnife only needs a fitted mesh mask, along with its robotic arm and sophisticated imaging and software capabilities, to insure submillimeter accuracy as it tracks the exact location of your tumor. It even adjusts its radiation beams as you breathe. By treating only the cancerous cells and limiting exposure to healthy tissue, CyberKnife will leave most patients with few side effects and the ability to return to your normal activities in only a few hours.

The Simple Steps Of CyberKnife Treatment

  1. Your Pasadena CyberKnife radiation oncologist will join your team of specialists to analyze and recommend to you the best treatment options.
  2. Before your initial CyberKnife treatment, you will be fitted with a flexible mesh mask that will assist in keeping your head in place during treatments. When finished, your mask is stored for use during your short treatments.
  3. With the mask on, you will have a CT scan that will tell the team the exact size, shape and location of your brain tumor. Other scans may be ordered, as needed, so that the doctors can view your tumor completely.
  4. Doctors will transfer your imaging results into the CyberKnife software and then will use it to help them decide on your radiation dose and locations. They will also point out and plan for the important organs that need to be spared from radiation exposure.This information is programmed into the CyberKnife system.
  5. When the treatment plan is finished, you will return to the Los Angeles area CyberKnife Center conveniently located in Pasadena for your first treatment. You can dress comfortably and bring your favorite music to listen to.
  6. After you lie down on the comfortable treatment couch, you will have your mask placed over your face and plug in your music as your pain-free CyberKnife treatment begins. The flexible, robotic arm will move around you sending high doses of radiation in hundreds of angles to the precise location of your tumor, tracking its slightest movement, and killing the cancerous cells. After each short treatment, most patients can resume their normal activity within a few hours.
  7. If your team has planned for more than one treatment, you will be asked to return the next day for another short treatment. CyberKnife is administered in short treatments each day from one to five days.
  8. Following your treatment, you will return for follow-up visits with your doctor. Using CT, MRI or PET scans, he or she will monitor the tumor to ensure the cancer does not reoccur.

The CyberKnife Advantage For Brain Cancer

  • CyberKnife treatment requires no cutting, no anesthesia, no surgery.
  • Because of the flexible robotic arm, your Pasadena radiation oncologist can direct numerous high-dose radiation beams to your tumor, reaching it from almost any angle, while minimizing the exposure to the vital healthy brain tissue surrounding the tumor.
  • CyberKnife treatment for brain cancer is more comfortable that alternative radiation therapies like Gamma Knife. You trade in being bolted to a bulky, rigid metal head frame used in Gamma Knife treatments for lying under a comfortable, lightweight mesh mask. CyberKnife can do this due to its real-time imaging software that tracks every movement of your tumor and pinpoints the radiation to that exact location.
  • Using a combination of your initial CT, MRI or PET scan images, your advance CT simulation scans, and your real-time tumor location at time of treatment, the CyberKnife software and imaging systems ensure radiation is directed in optimum doses to the precise location of your tumor, following even its slightest movements and attacking and killing the cancerous cells.
  • Treatment and recovery time is significantly reduced with CyberKnife treatments. You’ll receive one short treatment session each day for only one to five days, versus one treatment per day for up to 45 days with traditional radiation.
  • With CyberKnife’s pinpoint accuracy, damage to healthy brain tissue is minimized which reduces side effects compared to other treatments. Most of our patients can continue with regular daily activity, even on days of their treatment. CyberKnife treatment does not require an overnight stay at the hospital.

Find Out More About CyberKnife Today!

You owe it to yourself to find out more about the effective options CyberKnife can give you when fighting brain cancer. We are here to help and answer all of your questions. Call (626) 325-0777 today for a free phone consultation with one of our expert radiation oncologists. Let us explain the benefits of the non-invasive, pain-free CyberKnife treatment and how it can best help you. Or, ask your questions or make an appointment using our convenient online message form. We look forward to caring for you.