Gamma Knife Treatment
The oncology department of the leading private hospital of Herzliya Medical Center introduces the most advanced cancer treatments. The innovative technique of radiosurgery - Gamma Knife has proved its effectiveness in inoperable brain tumors and successfully used by specialists’ clinics, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome in the previously considered incurable forms of cancer.
Gamma Knife Treatment
Gamma Knife is a type of stereotactic radiosurgery and mainly used in the treatment of brain cancer, and some forms of benign tumors. Gamma Knife treatment is carried out using the ability of ionizing radiation to inhibit the growth and development of cancer cells, as well as the application of high dose radiation to cause complete destruction of the tumor.
Classical methods of radiotherapy involve extensive external exposure of the tumor area, which was limited due to the risk of damage to the surrounding healthy tissue, and risk of systemic reactions to the patient, namely radiation sickness.
Conversely, Gamma Knife has the ability to focus radiation directly to the epicenter of the pathological process, reaching a rate sufficient for the complete destruction of the cancer cells. Low intensity rays directed at the tumor from a variety of sources, ensure minimal damage to the surrounding tissue. The ability to accurately coordinate the direction and intensity of the irradiation, to maximize energy specifically on the tumor (tissue that requires removal). Focus in the deep layers eliminates the probability of hitting healthy tissue and prevents the development of significant local or systemic side effects. Targeted short-term exposure to intense radiation reduces the total dose of radiation compared to traditional methods of radiotherapy. Following the Gamma Knife procedure, a patient experiences minimal side effects – compared to conventional radiation side effects.
Indications for Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
This non-invasive treatment allows access to areas where surgical intervention is impossible. In some cases, the affected parts involve vital centers or blood vessels, surgery is ruled out in most of these cases. Gamma Knife provides a different approach to surgery, and is an effective alternative to surgery in patients with severe concomitant diseases (that is a contraindication to the usual operation). Gamma Knife is the choice of procedure in the following indications:
- Malignant brain tumors. The method is equally effective for the primary malignancy and metastatic foci, and does not preclude the treatment of multiple and recurrent lesions of the brain
- Benign inoperable brain tumors that have reached a significant size and cause increased intracranial pressure or pressure on areas that control the vital functions
- Arteriovenous vascular malformations (AVMs) represent the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage
- Diseases of the cranial nerves (neuromas, trigeminal neuralgia)
The Gamma Knife Procedure at HMC
Gamma Knife allows for the vast majority of procedures to be conducted on an outpatient basis or as part of a day hospital. After treatment with the Gamma Knife, hospitalization is generally not required.The procedure is painless. Before a session of treatment, the patient is administered sedatives; this relieves stress and promotes muscle relaxation to facilitate the procedure. Treatment is carried out in several stages:
- Fitting of a stereotactic helmet allows for accurate radiation directly to the tumor or pathological focus. Accurate focusing requires rigid fixation of the helmet to the skull of the patient. Fixing is by means of special brackets under local anesthesia, eliminating pain. In some cases, there may be a feeling of discomfort and pressure passing in the fastening area of the helmet
- Conducting computer or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain accurately determines the size and location of the tumor
- Planning and implementing of the Gamma Knife radiosurgery depends on the results of CT scan. Herzliya Medical Center radiology department will determine the areas to be exposed to Gamma Knife and will hold the appropriate setting equipment
- Implementation of the treatment session. During the procedure, gamma irradiation is performed through a specially configured opening in the patient stereotactic helmet. The length of treatment varies from a few minutes to several hours depending on the indication and scope of the planned procedure
The Cost of Gamma Knife at HMC
The cost of the use of the gamma knife at Herzliya Medical Center is determined by the type of disease, stage of tumor spread, the amount of necessary complex treatment, as well as the duration of hospitalization. The use of modern technology, including methods of Gamma Knife will significantly reduce the period of hospital treatment. After treatment with the Gamma Knife, there is no need for specialized post-operative care and long-term rehabilitation.