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CyberKnife Center

Radiology technician positions a patient for a CyberKnife treatment at St. Catherine

Stealth Cancer Fighter

No cutting. No scalpel. No pain.

Oncology radiologists at the CyberKnife Center at St. Catherine Hospital are successfully stopping many forms of cancer and once-impossible to reach cancerous and benign tumors with the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System.

CyberKnife offers hope to those who had little hope before.

St. Catherine Hospital was the first site in Indiana, and the entire Chicago region to offer CyberKnife® in 2005, bringing solutions to patients with cancer whose tumors could not be removed surgically or otherwise treated effectively.

Since the non-surgical treatment called CyberKnife® was introduced, and given a G4 upgrade, our physicians have helped expand its use to treat cancers of the brain, spine, liver, lungs, pancreas -- as well as prostate cancer. 

Unlike other radiosurgery systems – such as the Gamma Knife – the CyberKnife System does not require patients to be fitted with a rigid and invasive head frame or rigid immobilization devices.

What's more, the outpatient treatment is so precise there is little damage to surrounding tissue -- minimizing side effects. This advancement gets you through a quicker recovery, so you can get back to your normal activities sooner.

How it Works

The CyberKnife System is a blend of modern radiation therapy and surgery. Performed in an outpatient setting, the CyberKnife does not replace traditional radiation, but is a complement to it. 

CyberKnife® can pinpoint a tumor's exact location in real time, using x-ray images taken during cancer treatment that reference the unique bony structures and organs. Even if the patient or treatment site moves, CyberKnife can remain on target.

During the procedure, radiation produced by a linear accelerator is delivered to the tumor site by a robotic arm. Guided by a computerized 3-D map created through the use of CT or MRI scans, radiation delivery is precise. Any movement by the patient is compensated by the robotic arm, ensuring optimal efficiency.

Dr. Andrej Zajac in CyberKnife at St. Catherine Hospital

The computer-guided imaging system in CyberKnife works as deftly as the technology that guides cruise missiles to their target. This precision ensures CyberKnife stays on point, protecting healthy tissue.

Up to 1,600 beams of radiation can enter the body from different angles. When beams intersect, a sufficient dose is delivered to destroy the tumor.
By itself, each small beam of radiation does not harm the healthy tissue or organs it passes through.

Because the radiation beams can be sculpted around the smallest, most complex-shaped tumors -- like nerves for hearing and vision -- critical areas are not harmed.

CyberKnife Candidates

Candidates for CyberKnife primarily involve patients who have cancer involving the brain, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, metastatic cancer, cancer involving the spine, benign brain tumors such as acoustic neuromas, pituitary adenomas, hemangioblasomas or schwannomas; malformations of blood vessels within the brain; trigeminal neuralgia; or metastatic tumors or inflamations around the eye.

To Learn More

Community Healthcare System offers the area's most comprehensive cancer care program, with a broad range of treatment and diagnostic options. In addition to advanced cancer-fighting technology and radiation therapy treatments, dedicated inpatient and outpatient oncology and home healthcare services are available at its three hospitals.

Our patients receive support from the Community Cancer Research Foundation and the Cancer Resource Centre in Munster. The Research Foundation offers access to the area's largest cancer research program, linked to major cooperatives in the U.S. and Canada. The Cancer Resource Centre can guide you through the cancer experience with free education, professional counseling and complementary therapies to heal the mind, body and spirit.

To learn more about CyberKnife from director Andrej Zajac, MD, radiation oncologist, and the physicians who are trained clinicians in private practice in our community and/or are affiliated with the Radiation Oncology Programs of the Community Healthcare System, click here.

To watch a video from CyberKnife patients, click here.

To find out if CyberKnife is an option for you, or to learn about other advanced radiation therapy treatments, such as TrueBeam and Trilogy, call: 

CyberKnife Center at St. Catherine Hospital, 219-392-7319.
Radiation Therapy of Community Hospital, 219-836-6390.
Radiation Therapy of St. Mary Medical Center, 219-942-5745.