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Cyberknife has been found to be very useful in treating brain tumors because of the high degree of accuracy and since it can be done frameless (a head frame which is screwed into the skull, as is used for other techniques like gamma knife) the treatments can be fractionated (dose divided into more than one dose or fraction) which should lower the risk of complications.

See discussion of brain metastases in the brain metastases radiosurgery section and all other types of brain tumors (benign and malignant) in the Brain Radiosurgery Section

See the section on side effects and complications here, here and here and for pictures of treated lesions here

other cyberknife brain topics: glioma


CyberKnife stereotactic irradiation for metastatic brain tumors. Radiat Med. 2002 Nov-Dec;20(6):299-304.

Shimamoto S, Inoue T, Shiomi H, Sumida I, Yamada Y, Tanaka E, Inoue T.

Department of Multidisciplinary Radiotherapy, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan.

The CyberKnife provides a new technique for performing frameless stereotactic irradiation. So far, few reports have been published on clinical outcomes obtained with the CyberKnife. This report summarizes our clinical experience with CyberKnife irradiation for metastatic brain tumors. : Seventy-seven lesions (48 patients) were evaluated and analyzed, and 66 lesions in 41 patients were treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). The prescribed dose was 9 to 30 Gy. RESULTS: Freedom from progression of the tumors was more likely with a prescribed dose of at least 24 Gy than with one of less than 20 Gy (p=0.0244; log-rank test). The CR (complete response) rate was significantly higher when D99 was at least 24 Gy (p=0.0045). There were no severe side effects. CONCLUSION: Stereotactic irradiation with the CyberKnife for metastatic brain tumors is effective and safe. D99 should be at least 24 Gy for CyberKnife SRS treatment.
The role of cyberknife radiosurgery/radiotherapy for brain metastases of multiple or large-size tumors.
Nishizaki T, S.   Minim Invasive Neurosurg. 2006 Aug;49(4):203-9.

OBJECTIVE: Focused, highly targeted radiosurgery and fractionated radiotherapy using the Cyberknife are useful treatments for multiple or large metastases. Here we present our results of Cyberknife radiosurgery for 71 patients with 148 metastatic brain lesions. METHODS: There were 32 women and 39 men with a median age of 63 (range: 30-88) years. Radiographic follow-up was available for 60 patients with 104 lesions. The mean and median initial volumes of the tumor per lesion were 6.6 and 2.9 cm(3) (range: 0.1-53.2 cm(3)), respectively, at the time of the initial Cyberknife treatment. Forty patients (56%) had a single lesion, and 31 (44%) had multiple lesions (range: 2-7) at initial treatment. The number of fractions ranged from 1 to 3, and forty (27%) of 148 lesions were treated by a fractionated course of Cyberknife therapy. The mean marginal dose was 20.2 Gy (range 7.8-30.1 Gy, median: 20.7 Gy). RESULTS: At 44 weeks of median follow-up, there were no permanent symptoms resulting from radiation necrosis. Overall 6-month and 1-year survival rates were 74% and 47%, respectively, and the median survival time was 56 weeks. The Karnofsky performance score and extracranial metastasis were significant prognostic factors at 6 months and 1 year, respectively, in both univariate and multivariate analyses. Age or multiple metastases did not influence prognosis at 6 months and 1 year. Local control was achieved in 83% (86 lesions). After additional radiosurgical or surgical salvage, no patient died as a result of intracranial disease. Twenty-five patients developed 92 new metastases (range 1-13) outside of the treated lesions with 22.4 weeks of median follow-up. Among them, 21 patients (84 lesions) were treated by salvage Cyberknife. CONCLUSION: Despite the inclusion of an unfavorable group of patients with large tumors, our results for survival and tumor control rates are comparable to those of published series. The Cyberknife provides the advantage of allowing for fractionated treatment to multiple or large-size tumors.
Stereotactic radiosurgery in patients with multiple brain metastases.
Chang SD, Lee E, Sakamoto GT, Brown NP, Adler JR Jr. Neurosurg Focus. 2000 Aug 15;9(2):e3.

Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA. sdchang@stanford.edu

OBJECT: Patients with multiple brain metastases are often treated primarily with fractionated whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT). In previous reports the authors have shown that patients with four or fewer brain metastases can benefit from stereotactic radiosurgery in addition to fractionated WBRT. In this paper the authors review their experience using linear accelerator stereotactic radiosurgery to treat patients with multiple brain metastases. METHODS: Fifty-three patients with 149 brain metastases underwent stereotactic radiosurgery. The mean age of patients was 53.1 years (range 20-78 years). There were 23 men and 30 women. The primary tumor location was lung (27 patients), melanoma (10), breast (six), ovary (six), and other (four). All patients harbored at least two metastatic tumors treated with radiosurgery; 27 patients (51%) harbored two lesions, 17 (32%) three lesions, eight (15%) four lesions, and one patient (2%) harbored five lesions. The mean radiation dose administered was 19.6 Gy (range 14-30 Gy), and the mean secondary collimator size was 15.7 mm (range 7.5-40 mm). One hundred thirty-two (89%) of the 149 treated tumors were available for review on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging at 3 months posttreatment. Fifty-two percent were smaller in size, 31% were stable, 9% had increased in size, and 8% had disappeared. New metastatic tumors appeared in 12 (23%) of the 53 patients on MR imaging within 6 months posttreatment. Radiation-induced necrosis occurred at the site of eight (5.4%) of the 149 tumors at 6 months. Seven tumors (4.7%) subsequently required surgical resection for either tumor progression (four cases) or worsening edema from radiation-induced necrosis (three cases). Median actuarial survival was 9.6 months. CONCLUSIONS: Stereotactic radiosurgery can be used to treat patients with up to four brain metastases with a 91% rate of either decrease or stabilization in tumor size and a low rate of radiation-induced necrosis. In the authors' study only a small number of patients subsequently required surgical resection of a treated lesion.

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