The Stanford Radiosurgery Program consists of Neurosurgeons, Radiation Oncologists , and Physicists working together to develop innovative stereotactic radiosurgical technology and techniques for treating tumors and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the brain, spinal cord, and spine. The program has received world-wide recognition for its development of the Cyberknife™, a frameless image guided robotic radiosurgical system. The Cyberknife extends the accuracy of stereotaxy to frameless treatments and to other parts of the body.

Drs. Steven Chang and John Adler work with Dr. Iris Gibbs of the Department of Radiation Oncology to focus on the development, implementation, and clinical testing of minimally invasive surgical tools for treating brain and spinal tumors. These include both stereotactic radiosurgery and image-guided intraoperative surgical navigation. They also conduct clinical studies of multi-modality therapy for complex intracranial vascular malformations using embolization, microsurgery, and stereotactic radiosurgery.


The Cyberknife™

The first linear accelerator (Linac) designed to deliver therapeutic radiation to patients was introduced at Stanford University in the 1950's. Radiosurgery, in which radiation is delivered precisely to brain tumors, was made possible by attaching cumbersome and painful stereotactic frames to patients' heads to provide a reference for targeting the tumors. Recent improvements in high-speed computers, advances in real-time image-guidance systems, and the development of lightweight Linacs have led to the design of the CyberKnife, an image-guided frameless robotic stereotactic radiosurgery system. Brain tumors, even those adjacent to critical, radiosensitive structures, can now be treated with this new frameless stereotactic system. CyberKnife radiosurgery centers are being established worldwide; the first such center is here at Stanford. Recently the CyberKnife received FDA approval to be used throughout the body, wherever radiation therapy is indicated. Several Stanford neurosurgeons, including the CyberKnife's inventor, Dr. John Adler, are skilled in CyberKnife radiosurgery.