CyberKnife and Gamma Knife

CyberKnife and Gamma Knife technologies are two alternatives to surgery for brain tumor treatment. While both technologies use photons to eradicate tumors, they are effective treatment options in case of inoperable or recurrent tumors too.

Comparison between CyberKnife and Gamma Knife

They are stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treatment technologies.

While Cyberknife is used in treating tumors anywhere in the body, Gamma Knife is only for ones located above the ear and in the cervical spine.

Both technologies can be used for benign (non-cancer) and malign (cancer) masses.


Let’s look at differences between CyberKnife and Gamma Knife:


  • In Gamma Knife, a large metal frame is placed onto the patient’s head with screws for the treatment. In CyberKnife, for brain tumors a non-rigid thermoplastic face mask is used instead.
  • No need of any sedation -anesthesia- in CyberKnife treatment, unlike Gamma Knife’s.
  • CyberKnife has special robotic arm system in which brain, head, neck, and spine tumors can be treated with sub-millimeter accuracy from over 1,300 positions. Gamma Knife has a gantry-designed system like MRIs and CTs. The number of positions is limited by 190.
  • Gamma Knife offers a single treatment with high-dose radiation to the brain or cervical spine tumors. The number of treatment sessions are up to five times in CyberKnife by using a lower dose of radiation while sparing the surrounding healthy organs and tissues from unnecessary side effects of radiation.
  • CyberKnife is more patient-friendly by tolerating normal patient movements -thanks to its precise robotic technology. GammaKnife requires built-in metal frame for better positioning.
Gamma Knife CyberKnife
·  201 source cobalt unit designed exclusively for non-invasive brain surgery ·  Single source linear accelerator with robotic arm;  not limited for use in intracranial tumors
·  Radiologic accuracy  better than 0.3mm. 100 times less radiation exposure to the body comparing to the CyberKnife –as a result, less chance of radiation induced complications. ·  1 mm accuracy; dose outside the treatment area is 2 to 6 times higher comparing to GammaKnife
·  Rigid immobilization necessary to prevent head movement using a head frame mounted to on the skull.  Provides exact MR and CT correlation from planning to radiosurgery applications in 3D. ·  Robotic arm technology compensates for patient movement during treatment; only a non-rigid thermoplastic face mask is used during treatment.  Provides relative MR and CT correlation from planning to treatment delivery in 3D.  Other than brain targets, less accurate when targeting esp. tumors that move with breathing of patient.
·  Treatment delivered during one session ·  Treatments can be delivered up to five times possibly over a period of days to weeks


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