Spotlight On: CyberKnife for Lung Cancer Treatment

Reno CyberKnife has treated more than 200 lung cancer cases since opening in 2008. This accounts for more than a quarter of the center’s patients. Reno CyberKnife has drawn patients from as far as Alaska seeking a noninvasive alternative to traditional lung cancer treatment.

As one of the most common cancer diagnoses, evolving treatment options for lung cancer have not only improved survival rates, but also quality of life for patients. Reno CyberKnife treats lung tumors with an advanced procedure called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) using CyberKnife® technology. During treatment, precisely targeted, high-dose radiation beams are delivered to the tumor from a variety of angles without any incisions or sedation.

Removing all or part of a patient’s affected lung through surgery is the most common treatment for lung cancer. Patients unable or unwilling to undergo surgery, whether from poor general health or a concern for potential side effects that could impact quality of life, typically turn to radiation therapy.

“CyberKnife is an important treatment option for patients with medically inoperable tumors or pre-existing conditions,” said Reno CyberKnife medical director Dr. Jonathan Tay. “For patients who are appropriate candidates, this technology can provide an effective nonsurgical alternative.”

CyberKnife treatment is completed in five or fewer sessions compared to the 40 treatments typically required with conventional radiation therapy. CyberKnife’s unique ability to track tumors during treatment allows the machine to make adjustments for normal patient movements like breathing, minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissue. Patients typically return to their normal routines immediately following treatment.

In addition to treating lung cancer, Reno CyberKnife treats malignant and benign tumors in the brain, spine, lung, liver, pancreas, kidney and eye. Brain and lung tumors comprise the majority of treatments at the center. CyberKnife may not be appropriate for all lung cancer patients. Only a doctor can determine the best course of treatment for an individual diagnosis.