Talking to Your Doctor

Ask your doctor if the CyberKnife® System is right for you

The CyberKnife System is an option for successfully treating brain tumors. The right treatment for you depends on the specifics of your tumor (the location, size and type of tumor) and your health. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) with the CyberKnife System can offer a powerful alternative in many cases, including the following situations:

  • Brain Metastases
    When cancer is limited to one (or a small number) of well-defined tumors in the brain, radiosurgery can provide a more focused treatment than conventional whole-brain irradiation.
  • Radiation-Resistant Tumors
    Some types of brain tumors do not respond well to the low doses of frequent radiation used in conventional whole-brain radiation. However, these radiation-resistant tumors can be effectively treated with high-dose radiation treatment using CyberKnife radiosurgery.
  • Avoiding Chemotherapy or Immunotherapy Interruption
    Many patients respond well to multi-modality treatment that combines radiation therapy with systemic treatment such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy. Unlike conventional whole-brain radiation, which may require interrupting chemotherapy treatment for several weeks, CyberKnife radiosurgery can be completed in as little as 1 to 5 visits and typically does not require interruption to the chemotherapy cycle or immunotherapy treatments.
  • Patients with Prior Brain Irradiation
    In the event of a recurrence, it is generally not recommended possible for patients to undergo a second course of whole-brain radiation. Because CyberKnife radiosurgery delivers precisely targeted radiation, it may provide a safe radiation treatment option for some previously irradiated tumors. In addition, clinical data indicates that patients previously treated with CyberKnife radiosurgery (SRS) can be safely and effectively treated with additional courses of SRS — thereby delaying or completely avoiding whole-brain radiation1
  • Reducing the Risks of Cognitive Impairment
    In some cases, both whole-brain radiation and targeted radiosurgery may be viable treatment options. Both treatments can provide good long-term cancer control, but patients may choose radiosurgery in an effort to reduce the risk of cognitive side effects to memory and concentration.
  • Complicated Brain Tumors
    For tumors and lesions located in the vicinity of sensitive structures that impact functions like motor control, touching, hearing and vision, the CyberKnife System can deliver an extremely targeted treatment that provides minimized dose to these sensitive surrounding tissues — helping to reduce the risk of short- and long-term impairments.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • What are the most common treatment options?
  • Which treatment option would best preserve my quality of life?
  • What is my recommended treatment option — and why?
  • Am I a candidate for CyberKnife treatment?
  • What is the treatment process for the treatment option you recommend and how long will it take?
  • What results should I expect?
  • What are the side effects and risks of the procedure; and which side effects are short-term, and which ones may be long-term?
  • How are these side effects managed and can they be prevented?

Additional Information & Resources

More than two decades of clinical research supports the use of the CyberKnife System for the treatment of a wide range of brain tumors and metastases. Listed below are key studies and other resources to support your discussion of CyberKnife with your doctor.


1 Shultz et al. “Repeat Courses of Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), Deferring Whole-Brain Irradiation, for New Brain Metastases After Initial SRS.” International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 2015; 92: 993-999.

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