For Physicians: Treating the Lung with CyberKnife

Tracking Lung Treatment

Internal and External Tracking, and more on Toxicity.
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CyberKnife does NOT rely on respiratory compensation (ie  Gating or breath holding difficult breathing) maneuvers, uncomfortable immobilization. devices. It assumes a correlation between internal & external motion and more normal lung tissue in the field.

A CyberKnife® Lung Plan

Here is an example of a lung cancer patient who was treated with CyberKnife.  4 treatments were given every other day over the course of a week and a half.  The PET scan on the left was done prior to CyberKnife treatment and the PET scan on the right was done 3 months after completion of CyberKnife treatment, showing a dramatic response with only minimal uptake seen within the tumor.  (A brighter spot on PET means more cancer cells are present).  

The picture in the top left corner of this page shows the CyberKnife plan, with the orange line representing the dose of radiation that was prescribed to this tumor in the right lung.  There was a very minimal amount of radiation given to the surrounding lung tissue which is seen as black on the CT scan in the upper left hand corner.

CyberKnife Tracks and Automatically Corrects for Respiratory Motion

  • robot follows the tumor as it moves  
  • patient breathes normally
  • smaller margins, less dose to normal lung
  • results in a high degree of accuracy (less than 1.5 mm) in treatment delivery
    allows for dose escalation


  • Accelerated hypofractionation
  • Completed in 1-2 weeks (3-5 sessions)
  • Each session lasts 35-55 minutes (on average)