Gamma Knife and CyberKnife Radiosurgery Program
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a sophisticated radiation therapy technique that precisely delivers a single, finely focused, high dose of radiation to well-defined, small targets in the brain. It is especially effective for treating tumors, epilepsy, trigeminal neuralgia, and arteriovenous malformations. Since UCSF adopted the Gamma Knife in 1991, it has greatly improved the management of patients with these disorders. The procedure entails very little discomfort and patients recuperate within a few hours. UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children's Hospital were the first Gamma Knife centers in northern California and operate today with the latest model, the Perfexion® Gamma Knife. The UCSF Gamma Knife team has over 20 years of experience with radiosurgery and has treated over 3,600 patients to date. In 2011, we acquired the Extend Frame for the Gamma Knife that enables fractionated treatments for larger lesions or those in more sensitive locations. For more information about the Gamma Knife, visit www.elekta.com/patientus.nsf (from the manufacturer).
For the treatment of spine tumors or intracranial tumors not amenable to Gamma Knife radiosurgery, Radiation Oncology and Neurological Surgery clinicians use a radiosurgery system called the CyberKnife®. UCSF is one of the few centers in California to offer this treatment and recently updated to the latest version of the machine - the CyberKnife VSI®. It is a noninvasive system that combines robotics and advanced image guidance, which adjust for a patient's movements and map the precise location of the patient and the lesion during treatment. It can be used to treat both primary and metastatic tumors definitively or as a supplement to surgery. It can also be used to treat patients who have inoperable tumors or who underwent previous irradiation. The CyberKnife VSI® offers patients a number of of advantages over other therapies:
• Noninvasive, painless treatment
• Treatment in one to five sessions
• Focused radiation that delivers maximum dosage to the target abnormality without impacting healthy tissue
• No frame is used to immobilize the patient during treatment
• Treatment is completed on an outpatient basis without the need for a hospital stay
• The VSI system is the latest development in CyberKnife® technology. Faster radiation delivery and variable beam apertures enable us to considerably reduce the treatment time, extending the advantages of radiosurgery over conventionally fractionated radiation therapy.