News | Radiation Therapy | April 06, 2016

First U.S. Cancer Center Offers Gamma Knife Icon Radiosurgery

New high-precision Icon system makes radiosurgery available for more patients with brain cancer

Roswell Park Cancer Institute, RPCI, Elekta Leksell Gamma Knife Icon, radiosurgery system, brain cancer

April 6, 2016 — Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has become the first American cancer center and only the second institution in the United States to implement Elekta’s new Leksell Gamma Knife Icon radiosurgery system. The system expands the range of conditions that can be treated through Gamma Knife radiosurgery and gives more patients an option for cognition-sparing treatment of brain disorders. This new technology means that more patients with brain tumors and metastases will be able to receive this minimally invasive treatment at Roswell Park.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a minimally invasive approach for treating many malignant and nonmalignant brain disorders. For patients with certain types of brain tumors or brain metastases, this high-precision radiation therapy, which controls tumors by targeting them with intersecting gamma rays, serves as an effective alternative to neurosurgery or conventional radiation therapy.

One of the main features of this latest version of Elekta’s Leksell Gamma Knife is that it incorporates real-time cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging right into the device, resulting in improved quality control and precision in treatment delivery. The updated Icon system also allows some patients the option of “frameless” radiosurgery, increasing patient comfort and allowing patients who will require multiple radiosurgery treatments within a short time — including those with multiple brain lesions or some breast, endometrial and lung cancers that have spread or metastasized to the brain — to receive this treatment.

“The ability to incorporate real-time imaging opens the treatment up to a broader range of patients, including those with tumors close to critical structures such as the optic nerve and to patients who would otherwise get whole brain radiotherapy,” said Dheerendra Prasad, M.D., MCh, FACRO, director of the Gamma Knife Center and professor of neurosurgery and radiation oncology at Roswell Park. “These new functions translate to improved comfort and safety for patients and, in many cases, spare them from cognition-related side effects for years to come.”

More than 60 patients have been safely treated with the new Icon technology at Roswell Park over the last six weeks. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a potential treatment option for patients with the following conditions:

  • Metastatic brain tumors and lesions arising from primary tumors of the breast, uterus, kidney, colon, skin (melanoma) or other organs;
  • Brain tumors, malignant and benign, smaller than 3.5 cm in diameter, including meningiomas, gliomas (glioblastoma, astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma), craniopharyngiomas and hemangioblastomas;
  • Pituitary adenoma;
  • Trigeminal neuralgia/tic douloureux;
  • Arteriovenous malformation;
  • Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma); and
  • Essential tremor and other movement disorders.

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