CyberKnife Treatment for Kidney Cancer
If your doctor has diagnosed you with kidney cancer, radiation therapy might be one of your best treatment options. The state-of-the-art CyberKnife System delivers targeted radiation with incredible accuracy, making it a good choice for kidney cancer treatment. If you’ve explored other options, including surgery, and they’re just not right for you, our Los Angeles CyberKnife treatment center provides a non-invasive alternative. CyberKnife radiation therapy is:
- Pin-point accuracy — meaning minimal healthy surrounding tissues are exposed
- Minimized side effects and a better quality of life — even on days of treatment.
- Non-surgical and non-invasive, which means no incisions or bleeding
- No anesthesia or tospital stay, which lowers your risks for complications
- Performed in a comfortable outpatient setting
- One to five short treatments, completed in less than one week. Other radiation treatments can take three to six weeks to complete.
How CyberKnife Treatment Works
The kidney is located near the bowel and lungs, where there is constant movement of the kidney due to natural bodily functions, such as breathing and the passing of gas. Treating with radiation poses serious challenges for oncologists. Other technologies require stabilizing devices combined with breath-holding techniques and gating.
The CyberKnife System, however, uses an exclusive robotic design with sophisticated image guidance and tumor-tracking software to adapt to the rhythm and movement of both the patient and the tumor on the kidney, allowing for the targeting of multiple beams of radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy directly to the cancer. This precision destroys cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy kidney cells — ultimately minimizing side effects.
Here’s what to expect when you come to Pasadena CyberKnife for treatment:
- CT scan. Our team of cancer specialists includes radiation oncologists and physicists who will have you complete a CT scan at our center to create a precise map of your tumors. The map is then uploaded into the CyberKnife in order to create your customized treatment plan, which will determine appropriate radiation dose and where to target the radiation beams.
- Treatments. As you lie on a couch, the CyberKnife machine’s robotic arm will rotate around you. The CyberKnife’s synchrony tumor-tracking software adapts to the movement of your kidney tumor and compensates for any additional patient movement. The machine’s sophisticated sensors will adjust to stay focused on the cancer cells.
- Recovery. After treatment you’ll simply return home. Some patients experience a bit of fatigue, but most patients have no problem resuming normal activities on the day of treatment.
What Is the Best Treatment for Kidney Cancer?
The type of treatment that doctors recommend to their patients depends on what type of kidney cancer you have. Most kidney cancer tumors fall into one of two categories:
- Renal cell carcinoma. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common form of kidney cancer, accounting for about 85 percent of all cases. It produces cancer cells in the lining of kidney tubules, and those cells grow into a tumor. In most renal cell carcinoma cases, a single tumor develops. However, more than one tumor can develop in one or both kidneys.
- Transitional cell carcinoma. About six to seven percent of kidney cancers begin in the renal pelvis. The renal pelvis is the point where the kidney joins the ureter, which is the tube that carries urine to the bladder. These tumors, known as transitional cell carcinomas, are slightly different from renal cell carcinoma. Research indicates that smoking causes most transitional cell carcinomas in the kidneys.
Early diagnosis of kidney cancer gives patients the best chance for survival. Tumors discovered at an early stage often respond well to the kidney tumor treatment oncologists can provide. When doctors discover tumors early, survival rates are high.
Tumors that have grown large, or tumors that have spread through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other parts of the body, present a greater challenge. The good news is that thanks to new technologies and new therapies, patients have higher survival rates than ever before. According to the National Cancer Institute, the survival rates for kidney cancer have increased every year since 2001.
If other treatments for kidney cancer haven’t worked, talk to your doctor about CyberKnife, or contact our center directly and one of our board-certified cancer specialists will let you know if CyberKnife is an option for you. If your tumor is too complex for surgery, if you’re not healthy enough for major surgery, or if you’d prefer non-surgical treatment for kidney cancer, CyberKnife could provide a good alternative for you.
Treating Kidney Cancer with CyberKnife®
What are the symptoms?
- Primary symptoms of renal cell carcinoma include:
- High blood pressure, or hypertension
- Pain in the side or lower back not associated with injury
- Blood in the urine
- Rapid, unexplained weight loss
- Swelling in the legs and ankles
- Transitional cell carcinoma symptoms are similar and include blood in the urine, known as hematuria, and pain in the back or side.
What are the treatment options?
At Pasadena CyberKnife Center we offer Stereotactic Radiosurgery for kidney tumors is noninvasive, and typically carries less risk of complications than conventional surgery. For patients who refuse surgery or have medically inoperable kidney tumors, radiosurgery can be an effective treatment option. CyberKnife, which delivers high-dose radiation over one to five treatments, can be particularly effective for treatment of small kidney tumors.
CyberKnife has the ability to compensate for normal patient movements, precisely targeting the tumor during the entire procedure and minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This is important when treating kidney tumors, which can shift during treatment due to regular patient movements such as breathing. Radiosurgery treatment with CyberKnife also can be an effective option for treating renal cell carcinoma metastases to the spine, which are not uncommon.
Make an Appointment
Whether you’ve just discovered that you have kidney cancer or whether you’ve been in treatment for a long time, your oncologist might recommend CyberKnife treatment alone or in conjunction with other treatments. Start by contacting our center to schedule a consultation with one of our oncologists about whether CyberKnife could be right for you. Then, contact us at our Los Angeles treatment center to make an appointment.
Kidney Tumor Treatment: Cyberknife Patient Education
For more information on CyberKnife’s ability to treat Kidney Tumors, check out our Case Studies.