Gamma Knife is a device for intracranial precision radiosurgery. The partner of NU-MED Center for Diagnostics and Oncology Therapy in Katowice is Gamma Knife Exira, a medical entity specializing in radiosurgery.
This method affords an effective therapy without the use of a scalpel. Stereotactic location identification techniques are used for the sake of treatment by this method, while the radiation dose is usually administered in one fraction (one-off treatment). Radiation beams are focused with precision on a site designated for treatment and the risk of damage to healthy tissue is marginal.
Gamma Knife allows to treat:
- metastatic brain tumours
- trigeminal neuralgia
- pituitary adenomas
Neurosurgeon, radiation therapist and a physicist participate in procedure planning. During the therapy itself, the patient’s head, immobilized in the stereotactic frame, is moved into an area where lesion irradiation commences. The procedure proper, depending on the type and size of lesion, lasts from some dozen minutes to even 5-7 hours. Following the procedure, the patient returns to normal activity within several days.
Currently, there are over 300 Gamma Knife devices in operation across the world. This method has been used so far to treat 1 million patients. The high efficacy and precision of the procedures conducted contributes to results that may be comparable with classic surgical techniques. At the same time, ensuring tissue integrity minimises the risk of complications following the procedure.
Therapy inside the Gamma Knife device may be a standalone treatment as well as an adjuvant therapy in surgical techniques and is also used in conjunction with
an adjuvant therapy in surgical techniques and is also used in conjunction with neurosurgery, maxillary surgery and otolaryngology Radiosurgical treatment by means of Gamma Knife encounters restrictions resulting from the type of ailment, lesion location and volume.
Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion device is equipped with as many as 192 Co-60 cobalt sources. (The mean value of cobalt energy equals 1.25MeV, whereas its half-life extends to 5.25 years). Radiation sources are placed within suitable screens to ensure safety for the patients and personnel alike. Cobalt sources are distributed in 8 sectors, each fitted with 24 sources. In the course of treatment, a collimator sized 16 mm, 8 mm, 4 mm may be selected for each sector or a blocking position may be set, thereby turning off the entire sector.
Collimator dimensions determine the size of the gamma radiation beam. Collimator application affords high precision of the treatment, with an accuracy to 0.15 mm. The radiation dose is sufficient for effective treatment of the designated area.