About Mercy

For Doctors/Clinicians

  • No anesthesia
  • No incision
  • No pain
  • No blood
  • No recovery time or rehabilitation

Tumors have nowhere to hide

Combining a compact, lightweight linear accelerator mounted on a robotic arm, real time imaging, and respiratory synchronization, CyberKnife® provides the physician unequaled flexibility in targeting tumors and lesions. Advanced image guidance technology follows patient and tumor/lesion position during treatment, ensuring accuracy without the use of an invasive stereotactic head frame. CyberKnife® with its Dynamic Tracking Software is approved to provide radiosurgery for lesions anywhere in the body when radiation treatment is appropriate. CyberKnife® has often been used to radiosurgically treat otherwise untreatable tumors or inoperable tumors. Moreover, this system treats tumors at body sites, most of which are inaccessible to other stereotactic systems.

CyberKnife® is ideally suited for patients who:

  • Have a condition determined to be inoperable
  • Are too advanced in age for frame-based radiosurgery
  • Need or want an alternate treatment option to traditional open surgery
  • Have already received the maximum acceptable dose of radiation
  • Do not want to undergo a treatment using a stereotactic frame
  • Do not want an additional operation to remove a recurrent or residual tumor
  • Can benefit from the newly evolving applications for conditions previously not considered for radiosurgery
  • Can receive radiosurgery treatment as in addition to traditional oncology care


A Proven History

The first CyberKnife® prototype was installed for clinical use at Stanford University Medical Center in 1994. In 2001, the FDA approved CyberKnife® for radiosurgery treatments anywhere in the body. To date, more than 10,000 patients have been treated with CyberKnife® worldwide and more treatment indications are being explored. CyberKnife® procedures are not experimental and are covered by Medicare and major insurance carriers. The CyberKnife® Radiosurgery Center of Iowa offers outpatient services, making the procedure more cost-effective than a regular hospital admission.

Treatment Process

  • PlanningCT scanning, possibly MRI and advanced treatment planning
  • PositioningThe patient lies on a table with only a mesh face mask or body mold for immobilization
  • Verification The image-guided system verifies tumor location and compares it to previously stored data
  • TargetingWhen tumor movement is detected, the robotic arm is repositioned within a fraction of a second
  • Repeat –  This verification process is repeated prior to delivery of each radiation beam
  • TreatmentHundreds of finely collimated radiation beams deliver precise radiosurgery to the tumor
  • CompletionFollowing CyberKnife® treatment, the patient goes home

Synchrony – What It Means for Patients

With this recent upgrade to the CyberKnife® system, patients no longer have to hold their breath during a procedure and treatments of upper and lower body tumors are facilitated. Synchrony has cut treatments times for extracranial cases and permits higher doses of radiation to be used, leading to the effective ablation of tumors and a higher success rate.

The Synchrony system, unlike traditional radiation systems, simultaneously tracks both the movement of the tumor and breathing patterns of the patient. The robotic arm adjusts and compensates for these movements–ensuring more accurate treatment and eliminating the breath-holding requirement.

Synchrony precisely tracks tumors near the lungs, heart and soft tissue areas that are susceptible to breathing movements. Patients with lung, bladder, pancreas, liver, kidney and other soft tissue tumors can now be treated in less time. This means treatment sessions are shorter, patients are more comfortable during treatment.

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