Advanced Cancer Treatment in Pasadena, CA
At the Pasadena CyberKnife Center, we’re proud to offer some of the most effective, convenient cancer treatment options in the greater Los Angeles area. Our team of expert cancer doctors is one of the best, and we work hard to design personalized, comprehensive treatment plans that work with our patients’ lifestyles. We offer a variety of treatment options for virtually any type of cancer at our world-class cancer clinic, including all forms of brain tumors.
How Are Brain Tumors Treated?
While entirely possible, treating brain cancer is a delicate process due to the location of the tumor. But with the right treatment team, it’s possible to treat many forms of brain cancer. At Pasadena CyberKnife, we strive to provide the greatest possible quality of life for our patients, and our treatment team will work together to create a treatment recommendation based on a number of factors about your case, including
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:
Based on the specifics of your situation, your treatment team will create a treatment plan that may include any of the following components:
- 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
Many brain tumors are benign, but unfortunately, even benign tumors can pose a serious threat if they press on parts of the brain and start to impede its function. Often, doctors will recommend surgery to remove the tumor and thereby relieve any pressure on important areas of the brain. However, CyberKnife is a new option for treating brain tumors that uses a high dose of precisely targeted radiation to selectively kill cancerous cells without damaging surrounding tissues, allowing us to shrink and eliminate the tumor without the need for surgical incisions. Our doctors may recommend CyberKnife for a variety of patients, including:
- 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 but can’t receive more conventional radiation treatment.
How Does CyberKnife Work for Brain Cancer?
CyberKnife offers a new, convenient, nonsurgical option for treating both benign and malignant tumors in the brain. Thanks to cutting-edge imaging technology and advanced robotics, CyberKnife is able to deliver radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy, allowing us to pinpoint cancerous cells without damaging the surrounding tissue. The process of treating brain cancer with CyberKnife goes roughly like this:
- Before beginning treatment, you’ll 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Advantages of CyberKnife for Treating Brain Cancer
So why choose CyberKnife? This nonsurgical, noninvasive radiation therapy treatment offers a variety of advantages for treating 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 than 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.
Schedule a Consultation at Your Los Angeles Cancer Center
A brain cancer diagnosis can be one of life’s most frightening, challenging experiences, but with the right treatment team, there’s always hope. At Pasadena CyberKnife, we are experts in fighting a wide range of cancerous conditions, and if you or a loved one were recently diagnosed with brain cancer, we can help you beat it. Take the first step and contact us today to learn more about our state-of-the-art cancer treatment and to schedule a consultation at our Pasadena cancer clinic. We look forward to hearing from you.