Gamma Knife Center of Pacific, the Aloha State’s only dedicated intracranial radiosurgery facility, installs latest Gamma Knife modelHonolulu and Atlanta United States — Monday, August 16, 2010
Surrounded by thousands of square miles of ocean, Gamma Knife Center of the Pacific is the only Gamma Knife® center in Hawaii. Since 1998, Gamma Knife Center of the Pacific has treated more than 1,300 patients, offering residents a convenient treatment option and tourists a way to combine needed therapy with the pleasures of a paradise.
In August, the radiosurgery center will retire its first Leksell Gamma Knife system and begin operating Elekta’s latest generation radiosurgery system, Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a gentler alternative to traditional brain surgery for illnesses such as metastatic disease, which is cancer that has travelled to the brain from elsewhere in the body. With pinpoint accuracy, the system delivers up to thousands of low-intensity radiation beams to one or more targets in a single session. Perfexion provides even greater speed and ease of use than previous models.
“Perfexion is a much faster, more efficient machine to treat multiple metastases in a single visit,” says Maurice Nicholson, M.D., neurosurgeon and the center’s medical director. “This is important because the pendulum is swinging toward treating with stereotactic radiosurgery [SRS] rather than whole brain radiation therapy [WBRT]. Studies have shown that there is decreased mental function at four months in a higher percentage of WBRT patients. Perfexion will be good for the patients and good for physicians.”
More than one-third of the 140 patients who come to Gamma Knife Center of the Pacific each year have brain metastases. “The numbers are rising due to advances in tumor imaging and better screening—which result in earlier detection and diagnosis,” says Dr. Nicholson. “With new treatments, people who are diagnosed with cancer live longer; therefore, there is a greater chance of developing metastases.”
With Perfexion, the center’s staff of eight neurosurgeons, five radiation oncologists and one physicist is well equipped to handle increasing demand. “With the new system, we could easily double the number of patients we’re treating.”
For “medical tourism,” few venues beat Hawaii
Pragmatic patients with cancer are increasingly combining needed therapy with vacations in popular destinations, a trend known as medical tourism. Gamma Knife surgery is usually a single-day procedure with no specific convalescence associated with it, making this therapy ideal compared to radiation therapy or open surgery in which the combination of treatment and recovery may entail weeks or months. Gamma Knife Center of the Pacific has been the focus of this activity for years, treating patients from Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Guam, Taipei and Canada.
“Our location in Honolulu, just 10 minutes from Waikiki, presents a great opportunity for people seeking Gamma Knife treatment in close proximity to one of the world’s most famous vacation destinations,” says Sean Nicholson, the center’s CFO. “The Gamma Knife Center of the Pacific always strives to provide access for patients outside of Hawaii. Our staff works closely with patients to schedule and coordinate appointments, assist with travel arrangements and lodging, provide cost estimates and work with insurance companies to secure payment.”
Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 6,000 hospitals worldwide. Elekta employs around 3,300 employees globally. The corporate headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb. Website: www.elekta.com.
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