Spine Conditions

Radiosurgery Treatment for Conditions of the Spine

The Swedish Radiosurgery Center uses stereotactic radiosurgery to treat spinal tumors.

CyberKnife may be one of your treatment options for:

  • Primary tumors (those originating in the spine), including
    • Benign tumors (non-cancerous), such as meningioma, neurofibroma and schwannoma
    • Malignant tumors (cancerous), such as astrocytoma and ependymoma
  • Metastases (cancer that has spread to the spine from another part of the body)

Avoiding damage to healthy tissue

During treatment, the CyberKnife aims individual beams of radiation at the same target from multiple directions and angles according to a customized treatment plan. The CyberKnife moves around the patient and delivers the beams one at a time.

Alone, each of those beams of radiation is not strong enough to damage the tissue it travels through on the way to the target. Where they meet, however, the combined strength is able to destroy the abnormal tumor cells. The combined dose of radiation from all of those individual beams is much higher than the dose that can be delivered by conventional radiation, which often leads to better and safer tumor control and cure.

Ensuring accuracy

Depending on where your tumor is located, you may be fitted with a light-weight mesh mask (for tumors in the upper cervical region) or a body cradle. Both of these accessories help CyberKnife precisely target the tumor and ensure your body is positioned in the same position during imaging and treatment appointments.

An alternative to surgery

Radiosurgery may be an alternative to spine surgery, so you are able to:

  • Avoid general anesthesia, an incision in your back, and the risk of infection or other surgical complications
  • Experience a much shorter recovery time than after surgery. CyberKnife patients usually leave the Radiosurgery Center right after each treatment and resume their normal activities.

Your doctor may recommend radiosurgery as an alternative to radiosurgery because of your age or other medical conditions, including not being a good surgical candidate. Your doctor also may recommend radiosurgery if part of your tumor remains after surgery or if it recurs.

Our team of experts

The radiosurgery experts at the Swedish Radiosurgery Center have many years of experience using radiosurgery to treat conditions of the spine. Our radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons are able to use leading-edge technology to produce the very best possible results