The CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1999 to treat tumors in the head and base of the skull. Despite its name, the CyberKnife System is not a surgical procedure. In fact, there is no cutting involved. Instead, the CyberKnife System delivers high doses of radiation directly to brain tumors. The CyberKnife System offers patients a non-invasive alternative to brain cancer surgery, and can be used for brain tumors that are considered inoperable because of their location in the head, for those patients who cannot undergo brain cancer surgery due to their poor medical condition, or who refuse surgery. The CyberKnife System also can treat benign, or non-cancerous, tumors and other conditions, such as trigeminal neuralgia and arterial venous malformations (AVMs) or meningiomas.
CyberKnife brain tumor treatments are typically performed on an outpatient basis over a period of one to three days, requiring no overnight hospital stays. Most patients experience minimal to no side effects with a quick recovery time.