It was a dream long shared by East Texas physicians and patients: the ability to destroy even small, complex-shaped tumors near critical structures, virtually anywhere in the body, without affecting healthy tissues – or the patient’s quality of life.
That dream became a reality with the first CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery unit in East Texas. Located at the ETMC Cancer Institute, this remarkable advancement was made available through a collaborative effort between Tyler Neurosurgical Associates and the ETMC Regional Healthcare System.
CyberKnife is so precise it can target tumors with submillimeter accuracy, delivering a very high dose of radiation to lesions while sparing nearby normal tissue. What’s more, it actually corrects for patient movement during treatment. And unlike conventional stereotactic radiosurgery, CyberKnife can be used to attack tumors not only in the head, but in the chest, spine, abdomen – virtually anywhere in the body. Best of all, the procedure is completely noninvasive.
Imagine: No incision. No anesthesia. No pain. No hospital stay. No extended recovery period. No debilitating side effects. Just a three-step outpatient process to image, plan and treat benign or malignant lesions, with an immediate return to normal activities.
CyberKnife approved as prostate cancer treatment
The ETMC Cancer Institute is the only center in the East Texas region where men facing prostate cancer can be treated using the CyberKnife.
- Four CyberKnife treatments are just as effective as 40 treatments of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), the previous standard of radiation therapy. That’s an obvious advantage in convenience, especially for patients who must travel for treatment.
- CyberKnife therapy is noninvasive – patients don’t even have to change out of their street clothes to receive treatment.
- CyberKnife treatments at ETMC Tyler take an hour or less and require no surgery or overnight hospital stay.
CyberKnife is a type of radiation therapy referred to as stereotactic radiosurgery because of its ability to destroy tumors with knifelike precision, sparing surrounding healthy tissue. The procedures are largely non-invasive and most patients experience very little discomfort during planning and treatment.
CyberKnife offers advantages to patients who have to travel for treatment, since this course can be completed in as little as a week versus up to eight weeks for IMRT. A man with a prostate cancer diagnosis should discuss whether CyberKnife is a reasonable option for treatment in his particular case, so we ask that they call our CyberKnife coordinator and discuss this with our care team.