During the treatment setup appointment, the patient undergoes a CT scan with contrast (iodinated dye), which is then used to precisely plan delivery of radiation to the tumor. In some instances, an MRI scan may also be necessary in order to fully visualize the tumor and affected area(s).
Depending on the treatment plan, small metal or gold markers (called fiducials) may be implanted to accurately target radiation from the CyberKnife. These markers are only three to four millimeters long and are implanted on an outpatient basis. Other patients may be fitted with a Synchrony tracking vest, which, like the markers, tracks tumor movement during treatment.