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Archived HCA Press Releases

Another breakthrough in radiotherapy for the UK's first CyberKnife® Centre

10 December 2009

CyberKnife gets a special IRIS® system to give the robotic machine faster delivery of cancer killing radiation


As Britain's first Cyberknife Centre at The Harley Street Clinic gets ready to treat its 100th cancer patient, the revolutionary robotic radiotherapy machine has achieved a new first by treating a cancer patient using a special moving IRIS system which allows finer control and even faster treatment.

CyberKnife is a revolutionary machine that can treat cancers that were previously either impossible or highly difficult to treat.

It has a linear accelerator mounted on a very manoeuvrable robot arm which enables highly accurate pencil thin beams of radiation to target tumours from every angle.  Its special guidance system allows the machine to move with the breathing of the patient and thus it can destroy tumours with sub millimetre accuracy. 

The new IRIS system can vary the aperture of the linear accelerator between pulses of radiation thereby speeding up the treatment and giving greater control.

The first patient to be treated using the new IRIS system was a lady with rectal cancer.  Her oncologist is Dr Andrew Gaya, one of the pioneers of Cyberknife treatment in the UK:

"This is an extremely useful new accessory for CyberKnife which gives us greater flexibility in treating certain patients," he said.  "Treatment plans are more complex and the IRIS system allows us to deliver more radiation in a shorter time to particularly odd shaped tumours and thus reduces still further the risk of damaging healthy tissue."

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