What is CyberKnife?

Revolutionary Cancer Treatment

CyberKnife Is The Most Advanced Radiation Delivery System Available

What is CyberKnife?


cyberknife-in-actionWhile the name by conjure images of scalpels and surgery, the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is an extremely non-invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body.

What can CyberKnife Treat?

The CyberKnife can treat cancers in the prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas and kidney. The treatment – which delivers beams of high dose radiation to tumors with extreme accuracy – is offering new hope to patients worldwide.


CyberKnife treats patients in 5 days or less (other technologies can be as long as 9 weeks).


The CyberKnife treatment is not actually a knife and involves no cutting. In fact, the CyberKnife System is the world’s first and only robotic radiosurgery system designed to treat tumors throughout the body non-invasively. It provides a pain-free, non-surgical option for patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors, or who may be looking for an alternative to surgery.

How Does It Work?

  • The CyberKnife® treatments involve a team approach in which several specialists participate. Prior to the procedure, the patient is imaged using a high-resolution CT scan to determine the size, shape and location of the tumor.
  • Following scanning, the image data is digitally transferred to the CyberKnife System’s workstation where the process begins. A qualified clinician then uses the CyberKnife software to generate a treatment plan. The plan is used to match the desired radiation dose to the identified tumor location while limiting radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Once the treatment plan has been developed, the patient is ready to undergo the CyberKnife procedure. After arriving at the CyberKnife Center, patients are comfortably positioned on the treatment table. Then the CyberKnife System’s computer-controlled robot will slowly move around the patient to the various locations from which it will deliver radiation to the tumor.
  • Each treatment session will last between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on the type of tumor being treated. If treatment is being delivered in stages, patients will need to return for additional treatments over several days (typically no more than five), as determined by the patients doctor. Patients may experience some minimal side effects, but those often go away within the first week or two after treatment.

What are the Advantages of CyberKnife?

Non-surgical Cancer Treatment in Pasadena, CA

At Pasadena CyberKnife, we passionately believe that everyone deserves a healthy, happy, normal life – no matter what they’re facing. As a premier cancer treatment center serving the Pasadena and greater Los Angeles, CA area, we’re proud to provide a the most advanced cancer treatment, helping give patients hope even when they face the most serious of cancerous conditions. Our treatment team of expert doctors and radiation oncologists is well-versed in a number of cancer treatment procedures, but our flagship service is the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System: a revolutionary new treatment that provides a non-invasive, comfortable, and highly effective treatment for almost any form of cancer.

What is CyberKnife?

CyberKnife is an exciting new cancer treatment that combines some of the most advanced medical technology in the world to form a world-class cancer treatment. Unlike traditional methods like surgery or chemotherapy, CyberKnife uses a rotating robotic arm to deliver high-dose radiation to the site of a tumor with sub-millimeter accuracy. The arm can provide nearly 360º coverage to any area of the body, and thanks to the Synchrony Respiratory Tracking System, CyberKnife can track and compensate for movement of the tumor in real-time during treatment. This allows CyberKnife to deliver tumor-eliminating doses of radiation without damaging surrounding tissue.

Benefits of CyberKnife

Thanks to its use of advanced technology, CyberKnife offers a number of benefits over more traditional forms of cancer treatment:

  • Unmatched Precision: The CyberKnife System tracks the movement of the tumor in real time, compensating for changes in location due to breathing or other bodily functions to prevent damaging surrounding tissue.
  • Shortened Treatment Time: CyberKnife treatment is completed in one brief treatment session per day for up to 5 days in total.
  • Comfortable: Treatment is easy – all you have to do is lie comfortably on the treatment couch and let CyberKnife do its job.
  • Individualized: Your Pasadena cancer treatment team will tailor your treatment to the specific size and shape of your tumor, ensuring the best outcome possible.
  • Spares Healthy Cells: Because the system is so accurate, it delivers a lethal dose of radiation to the tumor while limiting damage to surrounding tissues.
  • Non-surgical Cancer Treatment: CyberKnife requires no incisions, no surgery, and no anesthesia.
  • Hope for Difficult Tumors: Because CyberKnife doesn’t require surgery, it can often treat inoperable or difficult tumors.
  • Painless: CyberKnife causes minimal side-effects and requires little recovery time.
  • Safe: Success rate and quality of life unmatched by virtually any other cancer treatment.
  • Insurance Approved: CyberKnife is approved by Medicare and accepted by most major insurance companies for treating a wide variety of cancers.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Pasadena, CA Cancer Treatment Facility

CyberKnife presents one of the most effective, convenient, and comfortable cancer treatments on the market – and if you’d like to learn more about how Pasadena CyberKnife can help you beat cancer, we would be thrilled to speak with you. As a premier cancer treatment center serving Pasadena and Los Angeles, we’re proud to have helped countless patients overcome cancer and reclaim a normal, healthy life. Call us today at 626.768.1021 with any questions or reach out to us at our contact page to schedule a consultation or get a second opinion. We’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle, helping you achieve the full-body health you deserve.

What Can Be Treated?

The CyberKnife® System is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body, including the head, spine, lung, prostate, liver and pancreas. The treatment – which delivers high doses of radiation to tumors with extreme accuracy – offers new hope to patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors, or who may be looking for a non-surgical option. More than 150,000 patients have been treated and more than 220 CyberKnife® systems are installed worldwide.

CyberKnife can treat the following Intracranial (head and brain) Tumors And Lesions:

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Anaplastic astrocytoma
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Ependymoma
  • Gangliocytoma
  • Germinoma
  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Glioma
  • Glomus jugulare tumor

  • Hemangioblastoma
  • Meningioma
  • Neurocytoma
  • Neurofibroma
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • PNET
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Schwannoma
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Vestibular schwannoma

CyberKnife Can Treat The Following Extracranial (outside of the brain) Tumors and Lesions:

  • Sarcoma
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Renal Cell Carcinoma
  • Colon Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Uterine Cancer

Why Is the CyberKnife System Unique?

The CyberKnife® System is a one-of-a-kind device for several reasons.


First, the CyberKnife System uses image guidance software to track and continually adjust treatment for any patient or tumor movement. As a result, patients do not need to hold their breath during treatment and can just breathe normally and relax comfortably. This capability sets the CyberKnife System far ahead of other similar systems.


Second, some forms of radiosurgery require rigid head-frames that are screwed into the patient’s skull to minimize any movement. The CyberKnife System does not require such extreme procedures to keep patients in place, and instead relies on sophisticated tracking software, allowing for a much more comfortable and non-invasive treatment.


Third, unlike some radiosurgery systems, which can only treat tumors in the head, the CyberKnife System has unlimited reach to treat a broad range of tumors throughout the body, including the prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas, and kidney.


Finally, the CyberKnife System’s treatment accuracy is unrivaled. Its ability to treat tumors with pin-point accuracy is unmatched by other radiation therapy and radiosurgery systems. The CyberKnife System can essentially “paint” the tumor with radiation allowing it to precisely deliver treatment to the tumor alone, sparing surrounding healthy tissue.

CyberKnife vs Gamma Knife?

Often times, we are asked about how the CyberKnife is different from the Gamma Knife. Both the CyberKnife and Gamma Knife are the most widely used stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) devices and despite the name, SRS is actually a “knifeless” surgery. While the Gamma Knife treats with multiple beams simultaneously, the CyberKnife uses a single high-energy photon beam fixed to a robot arm. The arm directs the beam to different positions during the course of treatment, all converging in the treatment target.

CyberKnife Is Non-Invasive

Unlike the Gamma Knife, a head frame is NOT required for sub-millimeter accuracy. Instead, the patient’s head is stabilized and immobilized with a firm plastic mask, and the robot is guided by a series of X-ray images of the skull taken during treatment. The position of the skull is updated in real-time, and the robot adjusts the beam to account for any skull movement. Thus, the CyberKnife SRS for cranial lesions is non-invasive.

CyberKnife Can Divide the Treatment into Several Fractions

Because the CyberKnife does not require rigid immobilization in a frame, it is capable of breaking up the full radiosurgical treatment dose into several fractions and delivering it on several consecutive days. Doing so can help to preserve sensitive normal tissues from radiation injury. It is particularly an advantage when the treatment targets in the brain are in close proximity to sensitive structures such as the optic nerves and the brainstem. In addition, breaking up the treatment into several fractions often allows us to treat larger and more complex lesions on the Cyberknife, which otherwise could not be treated with the Gamma Knife.

CyberKnife Can Treat Extracranial Lesions

Another difference between the CyberKnife and the Gamma Knife is that the CyberKnife, unlike the Gamma Knife is capable of treating lesions outside of the head. Extracranial radiosurgery has enormous potential as a standard treatment option. Data have demonstrated promising results for certain tumors of the liver, lung, and spine, and for radiation-resistant histologies. CyberKnife technology is especially useful in treating tumors that move with respiration, such as lung and liver lesions, with sub-millimeter precision.