Preparing for CyberKnife Treatment

The process of CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery will be customized for patients, depending on their individual needs. Overall, there are four basic steps of CyberKnife treatment that we can share to give patients an idea of what to expect. In addition to consultation and treatment planning, those steps include possible fiducial placement, mask/mold placement, imaging and treatment delivery.

Fiducial Placement

Fiducials are small metal markers that are needed for the treatment of some CyberKnife patients. This is a short outpatient procedure done at the office of a surgeon or in radiology. Fiducial markers allow the CyberKnife to track the tumor position throughout treatment. Lesions in the head do not require this step.

Making a Mask or Body Mold

A custom mask or body mold is formed and used to help minimize movement during treatment. The procedure is simple and painless.


A CT scan and possibly an MRI will be performed to identify the size, location and shape of a patient’s lesion.

Treatment Delivery

You will lie on the treatment table and be fitted with your custom mask or body mold. Usually, no sedation is needed. Patients dress in comfortable clothing and often bring their favorite CDs to listen to music during treatment. Patients are asked to lie as still as possible. The process typically lasts 30 to 90 minutes, and patients are awake the entire time. The image guidance system continually takes images and compares them to data from your CT scan. This ensures radiation is targeted accurately on the tumor.

Some patients are scheduled for a single-session treatment and may return home and resume normal activity immediately. Patients scheduled for a staged treatment are asked to return for additional daily treatments – typically from three to five treatment sessions.


As with any treatment procedure, there will be follow-up imaging and physician consultation to monitor progress of our patients.