A Cutting Edge Alternative to Cutting

US: CyberKnife attacks cancerous tissue with deadly precision and without surgery

Jonathan Sprague / Redux for TIME

Dr. Euan Thomson, President and CEO at Accuray.

Correction Appended: January 23, 2008

The CyberKnife system from Accuray Inc. allows doctors to treat tumors using a noninvasive, outpatient procedure that helps patients avoid the side effects of surgery, chemotherapy or other forms of radiation. It uses software and robotics to home in on cancerous tissue and deliver large doses of radiation while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.

Since CyberKnife was first approved in 1999 for tumor treatment, it has been used in some 40,000 cases, and demand is growing. "We're getting a lot of patients who are self-referring for treatment," says Dr. Euan Thomson, Accuray's CEO. "They're finding out about...

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