Illinois CyberKnife has treated more than 70 brain tumor cases since opening in November 2011, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the center’s patients last year.
Illinois CyberKnife treats brain tumors with an advanced procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) using CyberKnife® technology. During treatment, precisely targeted, high-dose radiation beams are delivered to the tumor from a variety of angles.
Unlike conventional surgery for brain tumors, which can last several hours and typically requires general anesthesia and a hospital stay, CyberKnife treats brain tumors noninvasively in an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to return to their normal activities following treatment.
“While the name may invoke images of knives or scalpels, CyberKnife is actually a nonsurgical treatment option that does not require incisions or sedation,” said Illinois CyberKnife medical director Dr. Arica Hirsch. “For patients who are appropriate candidates, this technology can provide an effective alternative for treating inoperable or surgically complex brain tumors.”
Based on the campus of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in the northwest Chicago suburbs, Illinois CyberKnife has drawn patients from bordering states, including Wisconsin, seeking a noninvasive alternative to traditional brain tumor treatment. More than 70 percent of Illinois CyberKnife’s brain tumor patients have traveled from outside the hospital’s typical service area to receive treatment at the center.
“Our team has developed a great deal of expertise treating brain tumor patients with CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery,” said Dr. Hirsch. “We hope to use our experience treating this disease to spread awareness of CyberKnife’s capabilities and unique advantages for treating brain tumors.”
CyberKnife treatment for brain tumors is usually completed in a single session, but treatment could take up to five sessions depending on the individual diagnosis. In contrast, conventional radiation therapy for brain tumors may require consecutive treatments five days per week for up to six weeks.