The technology of the cyberknife system

The Cyberknife technology combines three innovative developments in the field of medicine that enable highly precise and flexible irradiation:

  • precision robotics
  • compact linear accelerator
  • Online image control with the possibility of breathing compensation

By matching these systems to the image tracking system, the beams are directed to the target with the utmost precision.

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linear accelerator

The heart of the Cyberknife system is a particularly compact linear accelerator, which is mounted on a six-axis industrial robot from KUKA. In this way, the treatment beam can be flexibly controlled and directed into almost any body region.

The robot is throttled to 10 percent of its initial speed and equipped with various safety systems, so as not to "get too close" to the patient.

The treatment beam consists of high-energy X-rays, which are collimated by so-called collimators and precisely directed to the target structure to be treated, for example a tumor. In contrast to conventional radiotherapy, 100 to 400 of these high-energy radiation beams are emitted from different directions to a defined area within the body. The focusing of all these rays in the tumor then leads to a destruction of the tumor tissue.

Continuously image-based position control

The image location system consists of two ceiling-mounted x-ray tubes and two floor-mounted image detectors aligned at 90 degrees.

Structures such as the skull, the spine or implanted gold markers can be detected exactly in space.

The X-ray images of the system are compared with the digital X-ray images calculated from the planning CT. It calculates the difference between the actual and planned position of the patient.

These correction values ​​are compensated for either via the robot-controlled treatment couch or automatically by the treatment robot.

Respiratory Compensation

In the case of respiratory compensation, the movement of the tumor can be output through the interaction of precision robotics and image-finding system.

For this purpose, LEDs are attached to the upper body during the entire irradiation period of a camera is placed. At most intervals, the location of the tumor is determined by the X-ray system.

Information, tumor position and respiratory movement is synchronized at the same time and a model of tumor movement is created. An LED movement following the LED movement is a prediction of the internal movement that is controlled by the robot.