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Is Calypso the same as SBRT?

rjp50
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2021

I am considering a doctor who uses the Calypso machine to treat my PCa.  He will use high dose radiation over 5 sessions in 2 1/2 weeks.  Up until now, I assumed that this is the same thing as SBRT.  Now, however, I am reading things that imply that just because it is done over 5 sessions it doesn't necessarily imply that it is SBRT.  Can anyone educate me on this.  I know that CyberKnife is considered SBRT and I was under the impression that Calyspo was just a different brand of SBRT treatment.  Is there any evidence that Cyberknife is superior to Calypso?

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3705
Joined: May 2012

Calypso, as the term is employed at my teaching hospital radiation oncology department, is a radiation guidence system.  The RO director was going to use it on me for IGRT/IMRT application, but I chose surgery instead.   Hence, it is definitely associated with fractionated (more traditional) RT.  It seems possible that Calypso is also used with SBRT, but I have not checked on that.

SBRT is a technology.   'Cyberknife' is a manufacturer's brand name for their SBRT machine.   The other primary builder of SBRT machines is Varian, which uses the term True Beam as a proprietary term.  Varian machines are actually more popular than Cyberknife, mostly for marketing reasons, in that Varian began including IMRT and SBRT abilities in one machine, reducing costs.  Varian was bought by Siemans last year, but will retain the Varian name and products.  There is no data that I have ever seen to suggest that Varian or Cyberknife are any better than the other, regardless of what a machine salesman may say.

Obviously, the easiest way to find out is to simply call yor doctor's office and ask.   They will promptly answer that question for no charge.

In general, if you are going with radiation for First-Line, curative-effect treatment, and are only getting five applications, then it must be some form of SBRT, in that fractionated radiation at over 70 Gr (gray; a gray is a dose of therapeudic radiation) would be done over 35 or more applications, and take a  bit over a month to complete.  So, I am GUESSING that the doctor IS talking SBRT, but call to confirm.   New delivery methods are constantly being developed.

Old Salt
Posts: 838
Joined: Aug 2014

Max's explanation is right on.

I don't know whether the Calypso guidance system is better or worse than the one associated with the CyberKnife instrument. I wouldn't loose sleep over that issue; what is most important (according to knowledgeable people) is the experience of the TEAM (rad oncologist, planning physicist and the technicians who will be involved).

SBRT is most often used for relatively (!) low-grade prostate cancer. Do you fall into that category?

rjp50
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2021

Yes, I have a Gleason Grade of 3+4=7 with a PSA of 5.9 and my MRI did not indicate anything that would point to a more aggressive cancer.   I have no real way to determine the expertise of the Dr. and his team.  He does have a very high score on online reports as well as the local PCa support group and has been doing this procedure for 4 years.  However, I'm not sure that the high grades are primarily because of his willingness to take plenty of time to talk with you (he spent 2 1/2 hours with me) or because of his results.

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