Welcome to the Stanford Cyberknife Program

Globally-recognized for the invention of the Cyberknife, the Stanford Radiosurgery Program brings together expert neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and physicists, to continue development of innovative stereotactic radiosurgical technology and techniques. Our team focuses the development, implementation, and clinical testing of these minimally invasive surgical tools for a variety of tumors. While the Cyberknife is commonly used for treatment of tumors in the brain, base of the skull, and the spine, Stanford physicians are also using this technology to treat cancers of the pancreas, prostate, and lungs. In addition, in conjunction with advanced 3D imaging, we are seeking to advance the use of the Cyberknife to treat a host of disorders - from neurological disorders, such as arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), acoustic neuromas, trigeminal neuralgia, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder – to back pain, and high blood pressure. Our early results have been encouraging and our advances in this field could provide patients, especially high-risk surgery candidates, new therapy options. 

Conditions We Treat

The Cyberknife's special quality is that it tracks tumor movement whether from breathing or other patient motion. Its beam delivery arm reacts with minute precision to real-time images of the tumor. No radiation is sent out when the tumor moves out of the beam, protecting healthy tissue. At Stanford, CyberKnife is used to treat a variety of tumors or lesions, including:

  • Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)
  • Acoustic Neuroma
  • Astrocytoma/Glioma/GMA
  • Chordoma
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Hemangioblastoma
  • Meningioma
  • Nasopharynx
  • Oligodendroglioma/Medulloblastoma
  • Pituitary Adenoma (Cushing's Disease)
  • Schwannoma
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Other benign and primary tumors
Frameless system Does not require a head frame screwed into the skull for immobilization, avoiding the pain, headache, nausea and risk of infection seen at times with stereotactic frames. Instead, a non-invasive thermoplastic head mask and image guidance allows stereotactic immobilization.  
Flexible, frameless system, allowing single session or multi-session treatments

Frameless design provides the flexibility to perform radiosurgery in either a single day or over multiple days which allows your treating physicians to decide the safest and most effective course of CyberKnife treatment.

When constrained by frame-based systems requiring treatment in one day, some tumors are untreatable, or would require under-dosing of the tumor (risking tumor recurrence) or over-dosing of critical structures (risking injury to the brain).

Proven accuracy in both the brain and in extra-cranial sites Accuracy (<1mm ) is equivalent to rigid, frame-based systems. Recent total clinical accuracy for spine 0.61mm.*  
Able to treat both intra-cranial and extra-cranial sites with stereotactic accuracy Your physicians have the ability to treat brain tumors, as well as tumors of the lung, spine, pancreas, liver, prostate, and other sites.  
Multi-modality image fusion Your physicians have the option to use the best imaging study for your tumor, including CT, 4-dimensional CT, MRI and PET scans.  
Image guidance, tracking tumors that move with respiration Movement of tumors during breathing, such as in the lung, pancreas, and liver, is automatically tracked and compensated, allowing minimization of treatment of normal structures and decreased toxicity of therapy.  
Safely treat tumors that were previously untreatable Even in the setting of prior radiotherapy, your physicians may be able to re-treat tumors near the spine and spinal cord.  
Linear accelerator-based treatment Megavoltage X-rays are used to treat the target, over 4 times more powerful than the energy from natural sources such as Cobalt. No need to dispose of radioactivity.  

*Ho et al A Study of the Accuracy of Cyberknife Spinal Radiosurgery using Skeletal Structure Tracking, Neurosurgery 60[ONS Suppl 1]:ONS-147-ONS-156,2007

CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program

CyberKnife was invented at Stanford and treats a variety of conditions with high-dose radiation therapy. The Stanford CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program offers patients short wait times and the latest radiosurgery techniques.

Facial Pain Regional Conference
March 24, 2018

Join patients and clinical care experts at Stanford for the 2018 FPA Regional Conference. This Conference will serve as an important step in bringing us one step closer to finding long-term, safe, and minimally-invasive solutions for those suffering from trigeminal neuralgia and chronic facial pain.

Meet Our Director

"What would I do, what choices would I make - if I or someone in my family had this tumor? That's what I'm always thinking about when I make my decisions as a surgeon." 

Steven D. Chang, MD
Robert C. and Jeannette Powell Neurosciences Professor
Co-Director, Stanford Cyberknife Program

Dr. Steven Chang received his medical degree from Stanford University. He completed his neurosurgical training at Stanford with a focus on stereotactic radiosurgery, cerebrovascular disease, and brain and spinal tumors. He is recognized as an expert in Cyberknife radiosurgery and surgical resection of brain tumors. Dr. Chang's research interests focus on neurogenetics and proteomics.

Featured Patient

Cyberknife Used to Treat Rare Condition in Pediatric Patient

Kendall Kemm, a pediatric stroke patient with arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a rare blood defect, is being treated at Stanford. Grateful for the care she received at Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Kendall formed Kendall’s Crusade, a nonprofit orgranization aimed to provide financial assistance to families affected by AVM.