Visiting CyberKnife

I have long wanted to see a CyberKnife for real, since this is one of the most successful robotic surgery applications. Despite the fact that I have been working with some folks from Accuray Inc, I needed a random Hungarian friend's friend to let me in in February.
Cleared by the FDA to treat tumors anywhere in the body since 2001, more than 70,000 patients had been treated and more than 180 systems were installed worldwide by 2009, and by 2012, over 100K procedures had been performed with over 244 systems sold. Despite the fact that it is significantly more expensive than the da Vinci (~€3M, and €10.000/ treatment), it has not set Accuray Inc. to such a speed profit curve simply because the consumables for a procedure do not scale that nicely. 
CyberKnife is mostly applied to treat prostate, lung and heart surgery, you can read a lot more about these here
Strictly speaking, CyberKnife is one of the very few existing systems that really does automated robotic surgery. The robot is capable off tracking the motion of a lungs through implanted fiducials or a visibility vest with a surprising accuracy. Accuray made IGRT (image-guided radiotherapy) reality, and now they are also working within ISO/IEC to create a draft standard for IGRT systems.
Only recently they introduced the M6 version (which I was happy to see under testing), with multiple treatment planning, fiducial tracking, fixed collimators, variable aperture collimator and so.

Learn more about the system here!



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