News | Radiation Therapy | February 25, 2016

Gamma Knife, RapidArc Equally Effective for Brain Metastases

Study finds Gamma Knife focuses radiation more effectively while RapidArc offers quicker treatment

radiosurgery, brain metastases, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center study, Gamma Knife, RapidArc

Leksell Gamma Knife Icon image courtesy of Elekta

February 25, 2016 — While two advanced radiosurgery approaches — Gamma Knife and RapidArc — offer different strengths, they are equally effective at eradicating cancer in the brain, say researchers at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Philadelphia.

Their study, published online January 25 in Frontiers in Oncology, compared the two different devices in brain radiosurgery. Six patients, each with three or four brain metastases, were studied.

The Gamma Knife was slightly more effective than RapidArc at focusing the beam of radiation, thus limiting spread to normal tissue, and RapidArc offered much quicker treatment compared to the Gamma Knife, researchers said. Gamma Knife treatment usually take 60-100 minutes, about 3-5 times longer than RapidArc, they said.

“In the end, using one or the other doesn’t make a significant clinical difference and that is important to know because physicians and patients now know they have a choice of treatments,” said the study’s senior author, associate professor Wenyin Shi, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the Jefferson Brain Tumor Program.

Understanding the benefits of advanced radiosurgery technology is essential because there has been, and will continue to be, an increase in cases of brain metastases — tumors that spread to the brain from cancer somewhere else in the body, said co-author Adam Dicker, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor of radiation oncology, pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.

“As drug therapy for cancer becomes better at controlling systemic cancer, disease in the brain increases over time. The brain is a sanctuary for cancer — chemotherapies and targeted agents can’t reach the brain and the central nervous system because of the blood-brain barrier,” Dicker said. “The results are that a number of different cancers are now showing up in the brain.”

Radiosurgery delivers a focused dose of radiation on tumors in order to shrink or kill the cancer, while sparing normal brain tissue. The Gamma Knife, invented in Sweden, features a circular array of 201 beams of gamma radiation that meet at a single point. The downside of the treatment, which is very accurate, is that patients wear a helmet that is fixed to the skull, Shi said. The procedure can also take a long time, he said.

RapidArc radiation is a type of linear accelerator that emits high-energy X-rays (also known as photons). Very small beams with varying intensities are aimed at a tumor and then rotated around the patient. This results in attacking the target in a complete three-dimensional manner. A single treatment can take as little as 10-15 minutes.

Study co-authors include Haisong Liu, Ph.D.; David W. Andrews, M.D.; James J. Evans, M.D.; Maria Werner-Wasik, M.D.; and Yan Yu, Ph.D., MBA, from Thomas Jefferson University.

The study was funded by Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and Varian Medical.

For more information: www.journal.frontiersin.org/journal/oncology

Related Content

RSNA Study Shows Real-Time Indicator Improves Mammographic Compression
News | Mammography | December 12, 2018
Sigmascreening recently announced that more than 100,000 women have had mammography exams with the Sensitive Sigma...
RaySearch Developing RayCommand Treatment Control System for U.K. Proton Therapy Facility
Technology | Radiation Therapy | December 10, 2018
RaySearch has decided to develop a treatment control system, RayCommand, to act as a link between its RayStation...
Youth Football Changes Nerve Fibers in Brain

Statistically significant clusters (red-colored) showing group differences (Control vs. Football) in white matter strain along the primary (F1) and secondary (F2) fibers. While body of corpus callosum (BBC) showed relative shrinkage in Football group, the other clusters showed relative stretching of fibers. PCR: Posterior Corona Radiata, PLIC: Posterior Limb of Internal Capsule, SCR: Superior Corona Radiata, SLF: Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus, SCC: Splenium of Corpus Callosum. Image courtesy of Kim et al.

News | Neuro Imaging | December 07, 2018
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans show repetitive blows to the head result in brain changes among youth football...
Mirada Medical Joins U.K. Consortium Exploring Healthcare AI
News | Artificial Intelligence | December 04, 2018
Mirada Medical, a leading global brand in medical imaging software, will form part of an artificial intelligence (AI)...
Sponsored Content | Videos | Radiation Oncology | November 30, 2018
Accuray's philosophy is to personalize treatments to exactly fit the patient.
Snoring Poses Greater Cardiac Risk to Women
News | Women's Health | November 29, 2018
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring may lead to earlier impairment of cardiac function in women than in men,...
Artificial Intelligence May Help Reduce Gadolinium Dose in MRI

Example of full-dose, 10 percent low-dose and algorithm-enhanced low-dose. Image courtesy of Enhao Gong, Ph.D.

News | Contrast Media | November 27, 2018
Researchers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce the dose of a contrast agent that may be left behind in...
Women Benefit From Mammography Screening Beyond Age 75
News | Mammography | November 26, 2018
Women age 75 years and older should continue to get screening mammograms because of the comparatively high incidence of...
Ohio State University to Open Region’s First Proton Therapy Facility

Image courtesy of The Ohio State University James Comprehensive Cancer Center

News | Proton Therapy | November 21, 2018
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research...