Radiation Oncology Associates is proud to offer patients the benefits of the region’s only CyberKnife®, a revolutionary treatment technology that destroys tumors, even in difficult-to-reach areas of the body.

Frequently Asked Questions about CyberKnife:

What is CyberKnife?

The CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System is a powerful tool that provides a non-invasive alternative to conventional surgery for the treatment of both malignant and benign tumors located anywhere in the body.  The CyberKnife allows us to definitively treat these tumors with high rates of control, which appear comparable to surgery, while maintaining a remarkably low risk of side effects.  The CyberKnife is able to accomplish this by precisely delivering high doses of radiation to the tumor, thereby preserving much of the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.  The CyberKnife is the only commercially available system that is capable of “real-time tracking” that allows us to accurately account for tumor motion that occurs with breathing or other normal body movements that result in the change in the position of the tumor.

What is robotic radiosurgery?

Robotic radiosurgery is a non-surgical treatment using a robotic arm with six degrees of freedom to deliver dozens to hundreds of very focused pencil-thin beams of high-energy photons to tumors or lesions deep within the body.  This technology allows us to deliver very high doses of radiation to the target while minimizing the dose to the normal surrounding tissues.  The CyberKnife system does not require the use of an invasive stereotactic head frame used with other systems, thereby eliminating any pain with the procedure.  However, certain tumors may require needle placement of tiny markers to allow the CyberKnife to track the tumor as it moves within the body.

Facts about the CyberKnife Program

The CyberKnife Program is a physician/hospital partnership with a team of CyberKnife specialists composed of board-certified physicians from multiple disciplines including neurosurgery, thoracic surgery, urology, interventional radiology, and radiation oncology.  The CyberKnife is one of a limited number in the United States, and the only unit in Northeast Indiana.  The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery system by Accuray Incorporated is the world’s only radiosurgery system that utilizes full-time stereotactic image guidance coupled with intelligent robotics. 
We currently have six prospective national and international phase II and III clinical trials open to the public that are studying the role of CyberKnife radiosurgery in the areas of medically inoperable and operable lung cancer, low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer, spine metastases, and brain metastases.

What are the benefits of CyberKnife treatment?

Since 2006, more than 680 patients have been treated with ROA's CyberKnife, experiencing these significant benefits:
  • Treatment of tumors that were previously considered inoperable or untreatable
  • 1 to 5 outpatient treatments – sometimes for as little as an hour so patients can go home or go back to work the same day
  • No pain
  • No incision or anesthesia
  • Minimal risk of complications

How does CyberKnife work?

Conventional radiation therapy administers a broad beam of radiation from a limited number of directions and at lower doses passing through normal tissues. It typically requires 10 to 45 treatments. CyberKnife’s more intense, tightly focused beams of high-dose X-ray/photon energy are delivered from many points around the body, all concentrating on the tumor, so damage to the surrounding tissue is minimized. Usually only one to five treatments are needed.  
While certain soft-tissue applications do require a small incision in order to place markers for tracking purposes, most procedures using the CyberKnife are noninvasive. Unlike some other radiosurgery systems, which require painful head frames to stabilize the patient, CyberKnife is able to compensate for patient movement during treatment, so procedures are more comfortable and can be handled on an outpatient basis. 

What conditions can be treated with CyberKnife?

Many diseases can be treated with the Cyberknife.  Among these are:
  • Cancers involving the brain, liver cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, head and neck cancer, and cancers of the spine and other soft-tissue sites
  • Certain benign tumors
  • Malformations of blood vessels within the brain or spine
  • Symptomatic functional disorders of the neurological system

How can I know whether CyberKnife is right for me?

You and your physician should talk with a radiation oncologist to determine whether CyberKnife treatment is indicated for your cancer or other medical condition. Call the CyberKnife coordinator at (260) 266-9165 to schedule a consultation with an expert member of the CyberKnife Team.

What will happen during my outpatient treatments?

Before your course of treatment with CyberKnife, your team of physicians, nurses, radiology staff and other healthcare professionals will create a treatment plan based on diagnostic testing and your needs. The number of treatments varies from one person to the next, depending on tumor size, location and shape. In most cases, one to five treatments will deactivate or eradicate the cancer. Treatments last, on average, from 45 to 90 minutes.
During your outpatient visits, you will simply lie quietly on a special table as the CyberKnife arm moves around you to deliver your treatment, guided by your physician and a radiation technologist. You may wear street clothes, and if you like, you may bring music from home to listen to while you relax. 

Want to know more?

View our online video about Northeast Indiana's only CyberKnife:

CyberKnife® is a registered trademark of Accuray Incorporated.


  • Treatment of tumors that were previously considered inoperable or untreatable
  • 1 to 5 outpatient treatments – sometimes for as little as an hour so patients can go home or go back to work the same day
  • No pain
  • No incision or anesthesia
  • Minimal risk of complications