China Center Marks 25,000th Patient Treated with Elekta Gamma Knife Technology
Established in 1993, Shanghai Gamma Hospital is China’s first center dedicated to Gamma Knife surgery
SHANGHAI - A 60-year-old male resident of Shanghai’s Baoshan District became Shanghai Gamma Hospital’s 25,000th patient to receive Gamma Knife® radiosurgery. The target was a mulberry-shaped benign blood vessel abnormality in his brain, the treatment of which benefits by the extreme precision that Gamma Knife provides.
“This kind of intracranial abnormality has better outcomes with Gamma Knife radiosurgery than with open surgery,” says Li Pan, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurosurgery at Shanghai Gamma Hospital. “After radiosurgery, the lesion will shrink markedly in less than a year without any new neurologic deficiency. Open surgery risks hemorrhage, new cranial nerve disorder and incomplete resection. Since it is noninvasive, Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a safe and effective treatment method for this type of lesion with fewer complications.”
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a patient-friendly alternative to traditional brain surgery for illnesses such as metastatic disease, arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and meningiomas. With pinpoint accuracy, the system delivers up to thousands of low-intensity radiation beams to one or more targets in a single session. Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™, the latest generation Gamma Knife, provides even greater speed and ease of use than previous models.
Shanghai Gamma Hospital installed its first Leksell Gamma Knife in 1993, upgrading to the next generation system in 2002. On May 21, 2012, the center began using a Perfexion system – already treating 25,520 patients by October 1.
Over the last 19 years, as the radiosurgical skill and experience of the hospital’s clinicians grew – and as Gamma Knife technology evolved – patient volume swelled, according to Dr. Pan.
“In the beginning, we treated only one to four cases per day,” he recalls. “Last year, with the model C Gamma Knife, we treated eight patients a day. With the Perfexion system, we can treat more than 10 patients per day with shorter working hours and a more comfortable workflow for both patients and the Gamma Knife team. Perfexion also enables us to treat a larger range of intracranial targets and multiple lesions in a single session.”
With two full teams working in the Gamma Knife center, the hospital was able to treat more than 2,000 patients in both 2010 and 2011, a nearly 50 patients-per-week pace that Shanghai Gamma Knife Hospital maintains today with its usual 10-12 hour day. In fact, Elekta reports that the Shanghai center has treated four percent of all Gamma Knife radiosurgeries performed worldwide, and seven percent of the procedures performed in Asia.
“Our single-day record was 19 cases, but that was stretching into the early hours of the next day,” Dr. Pan adds. “These days, we complete treatments by midnight at the latest.”
Shanghai Gamma Hospital, now joined by 20 other dedicated Gamma Knife centers in China, also has served as an Elekta radiosurgery training center since 2002. The educational facility offers Gamma Knife training programs every other year, with more than 100 clinicians and technicians receiving training in that period.
More than 600,000 patients worldwide have received Gamma Knife radiosurgery, a figure that is increasing by about 60,000 per year.