Russian clinic uses Gamma Knife to treat record number of patients with brain cancer and other cranial disorders
Treating three to five patients per day throughout a seven-day work week, the Diagnostic and Treatment Center at the International Institute of Biological Systems is among the most prolific Gamma Knife centers in Eurasia. In 2015, the center treated a record 1,235 patients suffering from brain tumors and other intracranial disorders – 158 in December alone – with the Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ radiosurgery system it installed in late 2014. The clinic, which began treating with an earlier Gamma Knife model in 2009, has broken its “patients treated” record every year since then.
“We could easily treat 2,000 patient each year with Perfexion if there were higher federal subsidies for Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Since patients pay out-of-pocket, with possibly some help from their municipal government, demand is still limited,” explains Arkadi Stolpner, MD, President of the Diagnostic and Treatment Center, which owns one of the three active Gamma Knife systems in Russia. “Perfexion is a great system that has helped us treat more patients.”
“According to a Lancet study, cancer is the second most common cause of death in Russia, contributing to 15 percent of annual national mortality,” says Francois Pointurier, Senior Vice President, Region Europe & AFLAME. “Elekta is very proud to be able to support Dr. Stolpner and his center in challenging these statistics and improving the lives of patients with brain disease.”
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a gentler alternative to traditional brain surgery for illnesses such as metastatic disease – cancer that has traveled to the brain from elsewhere in the body. Leksell Gamma Knife technology delivers up to thousands of low-intensity radiation beams to one or more targets in a single session. Perfexion, equipped with an automated multisource collimator, provides even greater speed and ease of use than previous models, especially for treating multiple metastases.
Patients with one or more metastases (mets) represent about one-third of the St. Petersburg center’s case volume. Multiple mets is an ideal indication for the Perfexion system, which enables rapid treatment of several lesions in a single session.
“Many of the multiple mets patients have as many as 10 lesions, which is no problem for Perfexion to treat in one session,” notes Dr. Stolpner. “We have other systems for precise radiation therapy in the brain and the body, but when it comes radiosurgery in the brain, we prefer Perfexion for the highest precision and efficiency.”
Meningiomas and schwannomas are also common indications at Diagnostic and Treatment Center.
Upgrade to Gamma Knife Icon on horizon
Dr. Stolpner plans to upgrade the center’s Perfexion system to Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™ as soon as Icon has approval in Russia.
Icon integrates advanced motion management, dose delivery and cone beam CT (CBCT) imaging technologies, enabling clinicians to treat a wider variety of tumor types and sizes. The system provides caregivers increased flexibility in how radiosurgery is delivered, by allowing doctors to choose either frame-based or frameless (mask-based) methods to immobilize the patient’s head, in addition to the option to perform the treatment in a single session or multiple sessions.
“We have a great deal of experience in hypofractionation* with the two linac-based radiosurgery systems we also operate here,” Dr. Stolpner says. “Having the ability to perform both single session and multi-session hypofractionated cranial radiosurgery with Icon adds another option for patients. The physician can select the best option for a particular indication, accounting for target location, patient condition and other factors.”
To learn more about Leksell Gamma Knife Icon, visit www.careforthebrain.com.
*A treatment regime in which the total radiation dose is divided into large doses and treatments are delivered once per day or less frequently.
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