The CyberKnife system is a robot-controlled linear accelerator that was specially developed for use in radiosurgery. The source of the radiation is a 6 megavolt linear accelerator mounted on a high-precision industrial robotic arm with 6 axes. According to the manufacturer, the robot is accurate to within 0.2 mm. Unlike traditional stereotactic radiosurgery, the CyberKnife system combines an image-supported localisation and guiding system with computer-controlled robot technology.
With this modern technology, the CyberKnife system can continually locate and track the tumour and adjust the radiation unit to the tumour’s changing position. Changes of position caused by the patient’s movements can therefore be compensated for in real-time and stiff body frames are no longer necessary. The CyberKnife system is suitable for treatment in all regions of the body, thanks to its compact structure and high level of flexibility. This includes tumours of the spine, lungs, prostate, liver, pancreas and kidneys. So far around 50,000 patients worldwide have been treated with the CyberKnife system. Around half of these procedures were for tumours located outside the head area.