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CyberKnife Radiotherapy for Acoustic Neuromas and Glomus Tumors

CyberKnife machine at Elmhurst Hospital

CyberKnife machine at Elmhurst Hospital

CyberKnife radiotherapy is a highly specialized radiation technique used to treat tumors and lesions throughout the body. The Ear Institute of Chicago uses the CyberKnife to treat certain tumors in and around the ear/brain (specifically, acoustic neuromas, meningiomas and glomus jugulare tumors). Similar to Gamma Knife radiosurgery, CyberKnife radiotherapy does not require an incision; the skull is never opened. The “blades” of the CyberKnife are the beams of radiation computer programmed to target the tumor at the point where the beams intersect.

There are several differences between CyberKnife radiotherapy and Gamma Knife radiosurgery. The two main differences are that CyberKnife utilizes a frameless system, whereas Gamma Knife use a frame attached to the patient’s head. In order to maintain precision during CyberKnife treatment, the head is held in place through an comfortable aquaplast mask uniquely fitted to the patient. The second difference from Gamma Knife is that the radiation of CyberKnife is given over multiple treatment sessions (approximately 3 - 5 sessions), as opposed to Gamma Knife that is performed in one session.

CyberKnife radiotherapy is not designed to remove an acoustic neuroma or glomus jugulare tumor. Instead, CyberKnife radiotherapy is used to control the growth of these tumors. Specifically, the CyberKnife is designed to prevent tumor growth. A small percentage of tumors treated with CyberKnife radiotherapy will continue to grow and may require traditional, open surgical treatment.

There are several benefits of using CyberKnife. Patient Benefits:

  • Noninvasive, no incisions
  • No anesthesia or hospitalization required
  • Painless
  • Five or fewer outpatient treatment sessions
  • Little to no recovery time
  • Allows for an immediate return to daily activities
  • Minimal, if any, side effects due to pinpoint precision of high-dose radiation delivery
  • Minimal radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor

The Ear Institute of Chicago performs CyberKnife radiotherapy at the CyberKnife Center of Chicago located at Elmhurst Hospital in Elmhurst, Illinois.
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Stereotactic Radiation Frequently Asked Questions.