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Photon Knife/3D Conformal Radiation Therapy

What is Photon Knife(3D Conformal Radiation Therapy)?


Photon Knife is also named Three Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy - Multiple Fields, Non-coplane, Conformal Therapy.Photon Knife is a technique where the beams of radiation used in treatment are shaped to match the tumor. Previously, radiation treatment matched the height and width of the tumor, meaning that healthy tissue was exposed to the beams. Advances in imaging technology have made it possible to locate and treat the tumor more precisely.


Photon Knife uses the targeting information to focus precisely on the tumor, while avoiding the healthy surrounding tissue. This exact targeting makes it possible to use higher levels of radiation in treatment, which are more effective in shrinking and killing tumors.

Photon knife,shorted for photon isotron system, is a medical approach to kill tumor cells by photon radioactive ray. It is named as photon knife due to its equal effects as surgery.

How is Photon Knife (3D Conformal Radiation Therapy )done?

Step 1: tumor location -- ---determine exact position and scope of tumor and surrounding vital organs under guidance of dimensional oriented devices, CT scan, MRI, digital subtraction radiography or by three dimensional reconstruction techniques. The process is called three dimensional positioning.

Step 2: plan design-----optimal treatment plan is made including accurately calculated lesion division and dose distribution of surrounding vital organs.

Step 3: accurate therapy---- photon radiation with various energy is applied based on size, location and depth of tumors to make energy accessible to deep layer of tumor. This results in congestion, swelling and necrosis of lesion tissues until dead cells are absorbed, decomposed and excreted by surrounding normal tissues.

What can I expect during my 3D radiation session?

Prior to treatment, you will have a simulation (or planning) session, where a custom-fit mold is created. Learn more about planning sessions for radiation.

A 3D radiation therapy session typically takes about 30 minutes.

The therapist sets up the treatment according to the 3D images of the tumor and the information obtained from the simulation.

You lie in the mold on the x-ray table.

During treatment, beams from several directions precisely match the tumor’s height, width, and depth.

The linear accelerator moves in a circular fashion around the tumor area.

The actual treatment lasts only a few minutes.

Your oncologist will determine your treatment schedule and how often you will need to repeat the treatment process.

What are the benefits of Photon Knife (3D Conformal Radiation Therapy) ?

1、Multiple co-planes are set based on dimensional shape of tumor for an overall attack to tumor tissue.

2、Accumulated dose of multiple co-plane radiation makes it easy to reach fatal dose to kill tumor.

3、Avoid surgery, bleeding, suffering and risks.Photon radioactive ray cause death of tumor tissue inside human body and minimize incidence of infectious complications.

4、It can be applied to many vital sites where surgery is not allowed, such as beside great vessels of the heart, hilum of lungs and recurrent adhesive parts after surgery.

5、Mulitple fields, multiple angles and comformal radiation are performed exactly to tumor tissue under the control of modernized computer, with low rates for side effects on normal tissues.

Types of cancers which can be treated


Photon Knife is most useful for tumours that are close to important organs and structures in your body. This is because it helps to avoid radiation damage to healthy body tissues and organs. It can be used to treat

Prostate cancer

Esophageal cancer

Lung cancer

Bladder cancer

Pancreatic cancer

Liver cancer

Head and neck cancers

Brain tumors