I have read on various websites that before the cyberknife treatment can begin, gold markers have to be inserted - how and where exactly are these gold markers placed in the body? - are these gold markers used in all cyberknife treatments? are they inserted under local anaesthetic or is the procedure more complicated?
The CyberKnife system is a kind of radio-surgery that ablates tumor tissue using very high doses of radiation. This high dose of radiation makes it imperative that this energy is very precisely targeted, otherwise normal tissue will be severely damaged..
This precise delivery of radiation is made possible using a robotic arm to deliver the energy. The robot uses real-time CT scan imaging to track even slight movements in the body (for example breathing etc) and making compensatory adjustment in the energy delivery (by changing the direction etc). Doctors call this "gating".
To help with this tracking, gold seeds (called "fiducials") are commonly inserted into or near the tumor tissue. This makes the process of movement tracking technically easier and more reliable. Insertion of these gold seeds is usually a minor procedure done under local anesthesia in most cases.
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