Radiosurgery is a special form of radiotherapy which involves a great deal of technical effort in order to treat tumours and certain vascular diseases with the highest possible effective doses, while at the same time ensuring maximum protection for the surrounding healthy tissue.


The radiation source emits a multiplicity of individual beams from many different directions, but they are only superimposed in the tumour or other lesion and thus exert the desired effect on the tissue. Each individual beam is harmless. The necessary flexibility of the possible beam directions can be achieved in various ways. With the CyberKnife®, this is achieved through what is currently a unique combination, of a compact linear accelerator (radiation source for photons) and a high-precision robotic arm. With the ZAP-X, a similar radiation source is gyroscopically syspended (gimbal-mounted) and thus provides the corresponding flexibility.


Before the treatment, the lesion is precisely defined and marked on the specially adapted imaging. The subsequent irradiation planning creates a virtual treatment plan, which accurately predicts whether the lesion has been optimally detected and how high the load on the surrounding healthy structures will be. This makes the treatment highly effective, while at the same time protecting the healthy tissue as much as possible.


Modern systems have multiple motion control procedures, which monitor and, if necessary, correct the entire treatment in real time. This results in extremely high precision, so that safety zones around the lesion can be largely dispensed with. Due to the extreme focus and sub-millimetre precision, in approximately 90% of cases it is possible to definitively kill tumour cells in the irradiation region, without damaging healthy tissue.


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