17 February 2016

CyberKnife cuts a path to better cancer care

CyberKnife with patient and radiotherapist
CyberKnife with patient and radiotherapist

As part of the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital State Comprehensive Cancer Centre, WA's Health Department introduced the CyberKnife - the only one in Australia.

It has now performed over 500 procedures.

Although its name conjures images of scalpels and surgery the CyberKnife treatment involves no cutting at all. In fact, the CyberKnife system is the world’s first and only robotic radiosurgery designed to non-invasively treat tumours throughout the body.

The CyberKnife is also far better than conventional radiotherapy because it can deliver more concentrated radiation dosages while avoiding damage to healthy tissue.

CyberKnife also reduces the required number of treatments, which for rural and regional Western Australians means only two or three weeks of treatment away from home, instead of the usual six to eight weeks sometimes required with standard radiotherapy.

Dr Suki Gill, Radiation Oncologist and Director of Research at SCGH Cancer Centre, said CyberKnife was a breakthrough in cancer treatment.

“If we compare the treatment we have now with what we were offering 10 years ago things are so much more individualised and the results of the treatment are so much more impressive”.

“Not only does it offer a better quality of life for patients but also by reducing the number of required treatments, the health system can save costs and redirect money towards other necessary resources in the cancer pathway,” Dr Gill said.

Learn more about how CyberKnife has led to better treatment of cancer in WA (PDF 189KB).