About Gamma Knife

About Gamma Knife Radiation Treatment

Gamma Knife® radiosurgery is a major advance that has changed the landscape within the field of neurosurgery. It is the only stereotactic radiosurgery system specifically approved for treating brain tumors and brain metastases. This is based on long-term scientific proof and has become the primary treatment for such. Gamma Knife® radiosurgery is a minimally invasive technique. Diseased tissue is treated with a single precisely focused dose of gamma rays. Normal brain tissue adjacent to the diseased tissue receives little radiation.

The Alaska Gamma Knife Center at Anchorage Radiation Therapy Center recently completed a major technology upgrade to Gamma Knife® with the introduction of the new Gamma Knife® Icon™. The Icon™ is the newest upgrade on the market to the Gamma Knife®. The Icon limits radiation to healthy tissue while making it possible to treat select patients in a more comfortable thermoplastic mask, rather than with a head frame. This also expands our capabilities and allows us to be able to perform fractionated (treatment in multiple sessions) radiosurgery.

The Gamma Knife is not a knife at all, but a medical instrument that emits 192 finely focused beams of gamma radiation. These beams simultaneously intersect at the precise location of the brain disorder and treat it with minimal effect on surrounding normal tissue. Done with the partnership of a Neurosurgeon, Gamma Knife surgery maximizes patient comfort and can be used to treat lesions that before were either inaccessible or were treated unsuccessfully by conventional surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

Gamma Knife® is considered the “gold standard” of radiosurgery because of its accuracy and non-treatment of the surrounding healthy brain tissue. The success rate of the Gamma Knife is unprecedented. More than 1 million patients have had Gamma Knife surgery with no mortality, and minimal morbidity reported. Backed by two decades of pre-clinical research, no other neurosurgical tool has met with such impressive results. Its many benefits as a minimally invasive procedure continue to make it the treatment of choice.

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