Oakwood’s CyberKnife robotic system is first in metro area

Dearborn, Mich. – Oakwood Healthcare, Inc. (OHI) continued its investment in the fight against cancer with the recent installation of the first Cyberknife system in Wayne County.

The Cyberknife suite, which opened in October at the Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center (OHMC) in Dearborn, is only the third in the State of Michigan. Rated at 1,000 MU/minute, it is more powerful than the existing Cyberknife systems in Ypsilanti and Saginaw, according to Dr. Omar Salazar, medical director of Cancer Center Programs for OHI. The new machine and the renovation of the space it sits in—along with the supporting technology and training required—represents a $6 million investment by the healthcare system.

“This is an important tool in the fight against cancer,” said Salazar. “With it we can provide new alternatives for patients and attack this disease in a very safe and highly effective manner.”

Cyberknife is a form of non-invasive radiosurgery that uses highly-focused radiation to attack tumors without hurting healthy cells. The robotic system can provide an alternative treatment for cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body, including the prostate, lungs, brain, spine, liver, pancreas and kidneys. It has been effective in treating patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors, or who may just be looking for a non-surgical option, said Salazar. The treatment does not require any type of incision nor require any type of anesthesia, which allows patients to return to normal activity immediately after their sessions. Because the radiation is targeted specifically to the tumor, it can treat in one-to-five sessions what had previously required dozens of hospital visits.

“It performs surgery without the scalpel—that’s basically what it is,” said Salazar. “It is a totally robotic machine that delivers extremely precise radiation beams that can come in from up to 290 different directions to hit a target.

“It only paints the tumor with the dose you need to deliver and spares the normal tissue from unnecessary radiation,” he added. “It can treat just about any target in the human body.”

The Cyberknife system uses a computer-aided tracking system that adjusts for patient movements—including inhalation or exhalation—so it can perform procedures that had previously been too risky and provide an alternative to patients whose Cancer had previously been characterized as inoperable.

The Cyberknife system is the latest investment OHI has made in new technology to better diagnose and treat cancer with an eye toward patient safety and comfort. Since January, OHI has invested an additional $3.7 million to bring in new CT scanning technology and to upgrade its existing systems to reduce risk of radiation exposure.


  • Lung cancers
  • Head & neck cancers
  • Brain cancers
  • Spine cancers
  • Liver cancers
  • Kidney cancers
  • Pancreas cancers
  • Prostate cancers
  • and many other type of cancers

For more information on CyberKnife, please call Oakwood’s Radiation Oncology Department at or visit www.oakwood.org/cyberknife.

CUTLINE: The Cyberknife system at Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center (OHMC) is the one of three such units in the State of Michigan—and the only one in Wayne County. It is more powerful than existing units in Saginaw and Ypsilanti.