How Lung Cancer Is Treated With Austin CyberKnife

Studio 512

Stephen Brown, M.D., board-certified radiation oncologist at Austin CyberKnife, joined Studio 512 Co-Host Rosie Newberry to talk about lung cancer, how lung cancer is treated with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System, and CyberKnife treatment benefits for patients.

What is lung cancer?

“Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.”

What are the current statistics for lung cancer?

“Lung cancer accounts for about 25% of all cancer deaths and is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. According to the American Cancer Society’s 2021 Cancer Facts & Figures, over 15,000 new cases of lung cancer have been diagnosed in Texas this year.”

Patients diagnosed with lung cancer are treated with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System at Austin CyberKnife. What is CyberKnife?

“CyberKnife is a painless, non-invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body. The treatment delivers beams of high-dose radiation to tumors with extreme precision and features a device that controls the width of the radiation beams the machine delivers during treatment, allowing our clinical experts to vary the beam size and treat a larger variety of tumors throughout the body.”

How does CyberKnife treat lung cancer?

“Before treatment, a radiation oncologist will determine whether the patient’s tumor may need implanted fiducial markers, tiny markers that inserted into the tumor to guide the CyberKnife system track the tumor during treatment. The patient will also be fitted with a custom body support pad, which will help him/her remain relaxed and still during treatment. To monitor breathing, the CyberKnife team will provide the patient with a comfortable LED-enhanced vest or shirt to wear during treatment.”

“One of the biggest challenges in lung cancer treatment remains effectively treating cancer while minimizing the impact on the many sensitive tissues and vital organs that surround the lungs. Precision is critical, and that’s what makes the CyberKnife System so unique. It is the only robotic radiation delivery system that incorporates Synchrony® Respiratory Technology, enabling the system to automatically and continually track and synchronize treatment delivery to motion to keep the radiation precisely targeted on the tumor as it moves with your natural breathing. The patient does not have to hold their breath, as the patient breathes during the treatment, the CyberKnife robotic arm moves with the rise and fall of his/her body, meaning that healthy tissue is protected from radiation and only the tumor is treated.”

What are the benefits of using CyberKnife for lung cancer treatment?

There are numerous benefits of CyberKnife treatment, including:

  • It’s non-invasive, meaning no incisions
  • There is no anesthesia or hospitalization required
  • It’s painless
  • It’s completed in five or fewer outpatient treatment sessions
  • There is little to no recovery time, allowing for an immediate return to daily activities
  • There are minimal, if any, side effects
  • Due to pinpoint precision of high-dose radiation delivery, there is minimal radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor

 What is recurrent lung cancer?

“When cancer returns after a period of remission, it’s considered a recurrence. When non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has progressed or returned following an initial treatment with surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy, it is said to be recurrent or relapsed.”

“A cancer recurrence happens because, in spite of the best efforts to rid you of your cancer, some cells from your cancer remained. These cancer cells may have been dormant for a period of time, but eventually, they continue to multiply, resulting in the reappearance of cancer.”

Can CyberKnife be used to treat recurrent lung cancer?

“Yes, the CyberKnife System can treat patients that have previously had surgery, gone through radiation therapy, or are currently undergoing radiation therapy.”

“In some cases, patients with recurrent lung tumors may have limited options. While a recurrent lung cancer diagnosis may cause feelings of shock and distress, patients can feel hopeful that there are options available to treat cancer that comes back in areas previously treated.”

“It is important for the patient to remember to provide their physician with a complete medical history, so the physician can prescribe the appropriate treatment course.”

Learn more about Austin CyberKnife at or call (512) 324-8060. Austin CyberKnife is located at 1400 North IH 35, Austin, TX 78701.

This segment is paid for by Austin CyberKnife and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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