First US hospital to use Gamma Knife Perfexion to treat brain tumours
15 June 2007
Fremont, Calif., USA. The Washington Hospital Healthcare
System will be the first hospital outside of Europe to treat brain tumour
patients using the new Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion from Swedish company
new system uses focused doses of radiation without making an incision to
treat brain tumours and other brain disorders. It focuses more than 192
radiation beams with a level of accuracy better than 0.3mm, or the thickness
of a strand of hair, leaving nearby healthy tissue undamaged. Cumulative
radiation is high, but each individual beam has low intensity, so tissue it
passes through on the way to the target is not affected.
The Gamma Knife
Perfexion's anatomical reach has been expanded to treat 100% of the head and
neck, which allows physicians to address difficult-to-reach tumours that
were not previously treatable when compared to earlier generation and
current competing technologies.
Susan LaRochelle, 52, the first patient to be treated, was recently
diagnosed with lung cancer. At the same time, She learned that her cancer
had also spread to her brain. Because the Gamma Knife procedure is performed
on an outpatient basis, Susan will be able to return home in just a few
hours and can continue receiving chemotherapy treatments for her lung
"With the new Gamma Knife Perfexion, Susan's tumours can be removed without
disrupting her chemotherapy, allowing us to continue to treat her primary
cancer and potentially reduce its spread to other parts of her body," said
Dr David Larson, radiation oncologist and co-director of the Gamma Knife
program at Washington Hospital.
"With traditional whole-brain radiation,
the combination of treatments can result in unwanted toxicity in the body,
and Susan would have had to suspend her chemotherapy treatments for her lung
cancer for six weeks."
"A leading-edge neuroscience program that includes
the Gamma Knife Perfexion is unprecedented in a community hospital setting,"
said Nancy Farber, chief executive officer of Washington Hospital Healthcare