Accuray's history began when John R. Adler, MD, professor of neurosurgery and radiation oncology at Stanford University Medical Center, developed the CyberKnife® System in 1987 after completing a fellowship in Sweden with Lars Leksell, MD, the founder of radiosurgery. With the CyberKnife System, Adler’s vision was to develop a non-invasive robotic radiosurgery system with superior accuracy for treatment of tumors anywhere in the body. The revolutionary concept reached far beyond the practice of radiosurgery at the time, which restricted radiosurgery to the treatment of intracranial tumors.
After his initial work developing the CyberKnife System, Adler together with a group from Stanford and a manufacturer of linac technology teamed up and founded Accuray, Inc. in 1990. FDA-approved for the treatment of head, neck and upper spine tumors in 1999, the CyberKnife was the first and only radiosurgery system to combine image guidance and computer controlled robotics giving birth to the next generation in radiosurgery – intelligent robotic radiosurgery.
In 2001, Accuray received FDA clearance to introduce enhancements to the CyberKnife System for the treatment of tumors anywhere in the body. Unlike traditional radiosurgery systems that can only treat tumors in the head and neck, the CyberKnife System was cleared to treat both intracranial and extracranial tumors. And because of its extreme precision, the CyberKnife System does not require invasive head or body frames to stabilize the patient’s movements.
In 2004, Accuray continued to show its leadership in the field of radiosurgery when it received FDA approval for the Synchrony® Respiratory Tracking System. Synchrony allows clinicians to continuously track, detect and correct for tumors that are affected by respiration such as those in the lung, liver and pancreas without breath-holding or gating techniques. Unlike with traditional radiation therapy, the Synchrony System enables patients to breathe normally throughout their treatment while maintaining extreme accuracy and minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
In 2005, Accuray introduced the Xsight™ Spine Tracking System, which made it possible to automatically track, detect and correct for tumor movement throughout the treatment without implanting radiographic markers or fiducials. With Xsight, patients are given a comfortable treatment option for the delivery of radiosurgery with sub-millimeter accuracy along the entire spinal region, while physicians using this system could save time and provide better care to more patients.
Over the years Accuray has evolved the CyberKnife to take advantage of new technologies and faster computers in order to provide the best system for radiosurgery treatments. In November 2005 Accuray introduced its fourth generation CyberKnife System which delivers faster treatments with greater flexibility making extracranial radiosurgery easier than ever before. In fact, extracranial treatments currently represent more than 50 percent of CyberKnife System procedures in the United States, including those of the spine, lung, prostate, liver and pancreas.