Gamma Knife vs CyberKnife

  • A A A
  • Competition to treat benign and malignant brain tumors, vascular malformations, and functional conditions with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has increased dramatically in recent years. All-in-one systems like the CyberKnife® are aggressively positioning themselves as being comparable to the Gamma Knife in effectiveness and efficiency.

    Gamma Knife is the gold standard for stereotactic radiosurgery treatment of brain disorders. Its clinical effectiveness has been documented over four decades, with more than 610,000 cases treated worldwide providing the data for 3,000+ publications in peer-reviewed medical literature. It is used as the performance metric against which other technologies (such as the CyberKnife) are measured. Gamma Knife is the most precise dose delivery system for small targets compared to any other technology. For metastatic tumors, multiple brain metastases, trigeminal neuralgia, arteriovenous malformations, and the vast majority of acoustic neuromas and meningiomas, Gamma Knife is superior to other technologies.

    Consider these fundamental differences between Gamma Knife and CyberKnife:

    Gamma Knife Perfexion

    Gamma Knife Perfexion
    Designed exclusively for non-invasive brain surgery.
    Measured radiological accuracy of 0.15mm*. As the most accurate of all SRS technologies, insures lowest dose to normal brain tissue.
    A lightweight stereotactic frame is affixed to the head to provide rigid stabilization for maximum accuracy. Provides exact MR and CT correlation from planning to treatment delivery in 3D.
    Treatment delivered during one session. Patient comfort and well-being are priorities at every phase.
    Target is confirmed 10 times per second.


    Uses a single-source linear accelerator. Not designed exclusively for brain surgery.
    1.1 mm accuracy; dose outside the target area is 2 to 6 times higher than with the Gamma Knife**.
    Non-rigid immobilization reduces head movement by using a thermoplastic face mask that is shrink-wrapped to the table during treatment. Provides relative MR and CT correlation from planning to treatment delivery in 3D. CyberKnife is inherently less accurate because head positioning is optically guided, not head-frame based.
    Single or multiple treatments, possibly over a period of days.
    Target is confirmed once every 10 seconds.

    No matter how complex or intricate the clinical challenge, Gamma Knife radiosurgery delivers the highest levels of physician and patient satisfaction. This makes it the treatment of choice at leading hospitals and clinics around the world.

    *The Gamma Knife manufacturer, Elekta, guarantees that Gamma Knife systems will perform with a total radiological accuracy of 0.5mm or better. A study of 189 installed systems showed an average radiological accuracy of 0.15 mm.

    **Ma L., Petti P., Wang B., et al. Apparatus dependence of normal brain tissue dose in stereotactic radiosurgery for multiple brain metastases. University of San Francisco and University of Utah, Salt Lake City. JNeurosurg/March 4, 2011. DOI:10.3171/2011.1. JNS10156.

    San Diego Gamma Knife Center was the first and remains the most experienced brain radiosurgery center in the greater San Diego community.