Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Answers for a better understanding


How can I find out if a CyberKnife treatment is suitable for me?

The CyberKnife system has been approved to treat tumors anywhere in the body including the brain, spine, lung, prostate, liver and pancreas. However, it depends on the kind and size of the tumor and other individual factors. Please talk to your treating doctor or contact us directly.


What side effects can I expect after a CyberKnife treatment?

Most patients experience minimal to no short-term side effects and often recover quickly. Depending on the treatment site, some patient’s may experience different side effects such as mild fatigue or nausea. The CyberKnife physician will disclose all possible side effects prior to treatment.


After a CyberKnife treatment, when will my tumor or lesion disappear?

The effects of radiosurgery vary and may occur gradually and over time. Some tumors may disappear slower than others or may simply stop growing and present no further cell activity. Therefore, you are asked to get periodic images (CT scan or MRI) of your tumor(s) and additional tests may be required in order to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment.


When is the prior insertion of gold markers necessary?

The minimally invasive implantation of one or more gold markers is necessary prior to treatment for tumors in moving organs. The approximately 5 mm gold particles produce a precise X-ray contrast and so can be used as reference points to identify the exact location of the tumor.


Can prostate cancer also be treated with the CyberKnife?

In principle, early stage prostate cancer can be treated in collaboration with your urologist. However, the treatment is not therapy standard yet, as the studies report of too short follow-up observations and healing processes. Nevertheless, the distribution of the CyberKnife dosage can be compared to other radiation technologies with comparable results, requiring only one weeks of treatment time and less irritation. Goldmarkers are also needed to treat the prostate with the CyberKnife.


How is a CyberKnife "radiosurgery" treatment different from a traditional radiation therapy treatment?           

Traditional radiation therapy typically delivers radiation to a wide field of tissue in the body resulting in the treatment of both the tumor and a large amount of surrounding healthy tissue. This is necessary because traditional radiation therapy systems did not account for tumor motion and were therefore much less accurate. These wide radiation fields increased the possibility of damage to normal tissue, increasing the risk of side effects following the radiation treatment. To reduce the number of side effects, clinicians were forced to reevaluate the way traditional radiation therapy was delivered. As a result, the overall radiation dose was reduced and the number of treatments was divided into 30 to 40 sessions, delivered over a period of weeks.

Radiosurgery devices, such as the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System, were designed to deliver radiation with extreme accuracy, targeting the tumor with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.  The accuracy of the CyberKnife system allows clinicians to deliver very high doses of radiation safely because the size of the radiation field is smaller and only includes the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue. This allows for less damage to surrounding healthy tissue and for clinicians to complete treatment in 1 to 5 days vs. several weeks it takes traditional radiation therapy.


I am currently on or have been on chemotherapy. Am I eligible for a CyberKnife treatment?

The CyberKnife System can treat patients that have either gone through chemotherapy or are currently undergoing chemotherapy. It is important for the patient to provide their physician with a complete medical history, so to the physician can prescribe the appropriate treatment course.

The CyberKnife team in the Radiation Oncology Clinic Hamburg is always available for questions and information. Upon request, we will inform you about the CyberKnife treatment via telephone +49 40 244 245 81 20 / +49 40 244 245 837 or you can also use our Kontaktformular.