Meet the Heroic Inventor of CyberKnife

CyberKnife is a breakthrough therapy that is highly effective, painless, fast and low risk.

This type of radiation therapy combines continual image-guidance technology with a compact linear accelerator that moves in three dimensions according to the treatment plan; simply put, it works precisely even as you move to breathe and effectively treats your cancer. CyberKnife has intelligent robotics, allowing radiation to target tumors virtually anywhere in the body. CyberKnife treatment is not surgery, and it does not remove a tumor. But it can destroy tumor cells and stop the growth of active tissue.

The CyberKnife system has increased flexibility to treat tumors throughout the body from many different directions, all while minimizing radiation delivery to healthy tissue and vital organs. Unlike other forms of radiosurgery, CyberKnife allows the patient to breathe normally during treatment, even correcting for these small movements seamlessly to maintain targeting of the tumor.

The CyberKnife procedure requires no anesthesia, can be performed on an outpatient basis and allows for the treatment of patients who may not have been good candidates for surgery and would not have otherwise been treated with radiation. CyberKnife is an option for patients with tumors that are hard to reach, inoperable or who are very likely to have unacceptable side effects or complications when treated by other methods and may be an option after other attempts to treat have failed. In addition, the CyberKnife procedure avoids many of the potential risks and complications that are associated with other treatment options and is more cost-effective than traditional surgery.

You may be asking yourself, how exactly was this powerful cancer treating technology created? How was CyberKnife developed? That’s where we share the story of John R. Adler, Jr., M.D., founder, CEO and chairman of the company that created CyberKnife, Accuray, and one of the inventors of the CyberKnife® system.

Adler has been a Stanford faculty member since 1987 and is a world-known leader in the development of radiosurgery and stereotactic surgery. During his Harvard neurosurgery residency, he also completed a fellowship at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, with the late professor Dr. Lars Leksell, who was the creator of stereotactic radiosurgery. Adler gained extensive experience with all existing forms of stereotactic radiosurgery, such as the gantry-based linear accelerators and proton beam, while working at Stanford and during his training at Harvard.

His research in radiosurgery, neurosurgery and radiation oncology has led to numerous publications and advances. Adler has written almost 100 peer-reviewed scientific book chapters and articles throughout his career and is also on the editorial boards of the official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Neurosurgery, The Journal of Radiosurgery and Computer-Assisted Surgery.

Adler’s entrepreneurial path began after working with Dr. Leksell, whose Gamma Knife made it possible to treat deep brain lesions noninvasively with targeted radiation beams. The treatment used an external frame connected to the patient’s skull to direct the beams precisely so that they left healthy surrounding brain tissue untouched.

However Adler had an idea about a way to make this treatment even better. Together with the Department of Engineering, he worked on a prototype that became the CyberKnife® Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery System. Today, more than a million patients have been treated with CyberKnife.

More than a thousand men and women diagnosed with cancer each year turn to our trusted team of cancer specialists to receive CyberKnife treatment. We encourage you to call us at 850-610-3743, ask us a question, or consult with us to get a second opinion, so you too can experience the difference.