AS MEDICAL RADIATION EXPOSURE RISES, LOWERING PERIPHERAL DOSE FROM RADIOSURGERY TAKES ON NEW IMPORTANCE
Stockholm, Sweden, June 26, 2007
A recent study that reveals Americans have experienced a six fold increase in radiation since 1980 from medical devices is giving new impetus to reducing peripheral dose. It is one reason that radiosurgery centers are clamoring for the new Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ – the system reduces excess radiation dose to the body up to 100 times compared to competing linac-based technologies.
The study, conducted by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement, attributes much of the increase to CT scanning, which accounts for nearly half of the medical radiation dose delivered in the U.S. despite making up just 12 percent of medical and radiation procedures in the country.
“The fundamental principles of radiosurgery are to deliver a highly focused amount of radiation to the target while minimizing the dose given to the surrounding tissues through a steep fall-off. No where are these tenets more important than the field of intracranial radiosurgery,” said Jason Sheehan, M.D., Ph.D., and Associate Director of the Lars Leksell Gamma Knife Center at University of Virginia. “Maximizing delivery to the target volume and affording a low peripheral dose will translate into improved outcomes, as well as, reduced morbidity.”
Focus on Safety
Patient and staff safety was a key consideration during the development of Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion. Not only is reducing excess radiation critically important when treating children and women of childbearing age, it also allows patients with other cancers to continue their radiotherapy uninterrupted rather than wait six weeks after a less precise treatment.
The accuracy of Gamma Knife surgery is closely tied to the use of a stereotactic frame. The frame attaches to a patient’s head with four pins and is present during the one MRI imaging scan as well as treatment. Use of the frame eliminates the need to fractionate, or spread treatment out for several days, as often is the case with other technologies.
Building a Better Treatment System
Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion was developed in conjunction with leading neurosurgeons to be:
• Precise – Thousands of radiation beams converge, during a single treatment session, with a level of accuracy better than 0.5mm, about the thickness of a strand of hair, leaving nearby healthy tissue undamaged.
• Proven – With almost 500,000 patients treated worldwide, and thousands of peer-reviewed scientific articles, the system has unmatched clinical experience.
• Streamlined – The fully automated system is expected to save many hours of total physician and staff time – equaling one day every two weeks – while allowing speedy treatment of multiple brain metastases and complex targets.
Preferred by Neurosurgeons
Gamma Knife surgery has become the world’s most widely used radiosurgery treatment for brain disorders due to its extraordinary accuracy, reduction of excess radiation dose to the body and extensive history and superior clinical results. Unlike some systems which are used for the whole body, Leksell Gamma Knife is specifically designed to optimize treatment to the head – a fact appreciated by neurosurgeons and patients alike.
With unmatched accuracy and single-dose treatments, non-invasive Gamma Knife surgery is preferred by neurosurgeons over less precise linac systems and whole brain radiotherapy, which deliver much higher doses of excess radiation to the body. Treatment is completed in a matter of hours and most patients go home the same day to resume normal activities.