A robotic image-guided radiosurgical system has been modified to treat extra-cranial sites using implanted fiducials and skeletal landmarks to locate the treatment targets. The system has been used to treat an artero-venous malformation in the cervical spine, a recurrent schwannoma of the thoracic spine, a metastatic adenocarcinoma of the lumbar spine, and three pancreatic cancers. During each treatment, the image guidance system monitored the position of the target site and relayed the target coordinates to the beam-pointing system at discrete intervals. The pointing system then dynamically aligned the therapy beam with the lesion, automatically compensating for shifts in target position. Breathing-related motion of the pancreas lesions was managed by coordinating beam gating with breath-holding by the patient. The system maintained alignment with the spine lesions to within +/- 0.2 mm on average, and to within +/- 1 mm for the pancreatic tumors. This experience has demonstrated the feasibility of using image-guided robotic radiosurgery outside the cranium.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.