What is Gamma Knife?
The basis of Gamma Knife surgery is to determine the diseased area in the head by computer based on stereotactic principles and to irradiate this area with gamma-rays derived from 192 Cobalt sources. While low-power rays from each source don’t harm the brain, high level of radiation effect is detected in areas where 192 rays are focused. Treatment without bleeding and surgical intervention is offered to patients. This treatment rules out the necessity of ICU and lasts only a couple of hours. Patients can get back to their daily lives after treatment.
How does Gamma Knife work?
Stereotactic radiosurgery damages DNA of the tumor or diseased tissue cells. As divisive and nutritional functions of irradiated tumor cells are ruined, tumor growth is blocked. Mostly upon treatment, targeted tumors are gradually reduced in size. Tumor reduction speed is approximately equal to growth speed. In treatment of vein glomus, which is also known briefly as AVM, Gamma Knife causes thickening of unusually wider veins and gradually blocks them. The blockage process of vein glomus spans over approximately 3 years. Since malign tumors and metastases display rapid onset, they respond to treatment in a couple months at the same speed.
Which Diseases can Gamma Knife be Used For?
Since 1968 Gamma Knife has been used for treatment of several diseases. According to 2017 data, over 1 million patients diagnosed with various brain diseases have been treated with Gamma Knife.
Diseases Treatable with Gamma Knife;
- Pituitary Tumors
- Vestibular Schwannoma (audio – balance nerve tumor)
- Trigeminal Schwannoma
- Pineal Region Tumors
- Glomus Jugulare Tumors
- Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM – vein glomus in brain)
- Tremor (Tremor due to Parkinson’s)
- Essential Tremor
- Uveal Melanoma
- Some Glial Tumors
- Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
In addition to the diseases listed above, Gamma Knife treatment can be used for brain tumors in deeper locations and for patients who are not eligible for general anesthesia, cannot tolerate surgical intervention and do not accept open surgery. However, please note that the decision regarding use of Gamma Knife rests with your physician.
How is Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Done?
The first step is to place the stereotactic frame. This procedure is done under local anesthesia, but sedation is preferred for younger children. If necessary, a mask is used instead of a frame. The mask is tailor-made for individual patients.
After that, neuro-radiological scanning is done. Depending on type of disease, MR, Tomography or angiography is performed. MRI is performed for every patient before treatment. Angiography is performed for patients with AVM.
Dosage suitable for the target mass is planned using special software. During this procedure the patients rest in their rooms.
Gamma Knife treatment begins immediately after the planning process. Upon completion of treatment, which takes only a short while, the patient is discharged on the same day and returns home.
Why Gamma Knife Icon?
Leksell Gamma Knife Icon, offers a more extensive opportunity in relation to precision. It gives the patient the opportunity to choose between frame treatment, mask treatment and fractional treatment with mask. In brief, it is 50 years of experience delivered to the patient.
It offers the options of frame-based or frameless treatment.
Standard radiosurgery or ultra-sensitive micro radiosurgery can be applied. Leksell Gamma Knife Icon provides the same frameless immobilization sensitivity as frame-based treatments. This separates GK Icon from other frameless solutions.
Online Adaptive Dosage Control – A New Standard
Online Adaptive Dosage Control is an extensive concept that verifies the precision and provides a precise treatment option. Integrated to a control system, it provides constant quality control in addition to real-time monitoring during the treatment.
Real Time Movement Method
Icon provides a level of precision similar to that of frameless solutions without movement. High definition movement system follows the patient in real time at a precision rate of 0.15 mm, which is six times better than industry standards. If the patient goes beyond the predetermined threshold, the system’s control feature immediately blocks radiation.
Online Control for Radiation Administration
System integrated stereotactic Cone Beam CT is an Icon unique feature. Processing CBCT and MR images, treatment is automatically adapted to changes in the patient’s position. Online Dosage Assessment enables us to compare desired distribution of dosage to planned dosage.