Roswell Park is First U.S. Cancer Center to Offer New Gamma Knife Technology

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

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.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has become the first American cancer center and only the second institution in the U.S. to implement Elekta’s new Leksell Gamma Knife Icon radiosurgery system, which 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 CT (computed tomography) 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,” says Dheerendra Prasad, MD, 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)
  •     Essential tremor and other movement disorders

The Gamma Knife Center at Roswell Park Cancer Institute is the only facility in Western New York to offer Gamma Knife radiosurgery. More than 400 patients annually receive Gamma Knife treatments at Roswell Park, which has treated more than 5,000 patients since this program was initiated in 1998.

For more information about Gamma Knife radiosurgery at Roswell Park, please call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email ASKRPCI(at)roswellpark(dot)org. Additional information and a video explaining the therapy are available at roswellpark.org/radiation-medicine/facilities/gamma-knife.

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The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci(at)roswellpark(dot)org. Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

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Annie Deck-Miller
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