France’s University Hospital La Timone Treats 10,000th Patient with Gamma Knife Surgery MARSEILLES, France, December 31, 2010 Milestone case for minimally invasive technique is 40-year-old female with cranial tumor that threatened hearingMarseille France — Thursday, December 30, 2010
On Tuesday, November 30, 2010, neurosurgeons at University Hospital La Timone (Marseilles, France) used their Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ system to deliver radiosurgery to the center’s 10,000th patient, a 40-year-old woman. The treatment comes in the 18th year of the hospital’s Gamma Knife® program, which has employed four different versions of Leksell Gamma Knife , considered the gold standard for brain radiosurgery.
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.
“To have offered the benefits of Gamma Knife radiosurgery to so many patients after just 18 years is quite gratifying and speaks to the enduring value and effectiveness of this continually evolving technology,” says La Timone neurosurgeon and Gamma Knife program director, Jean Régis, M.D.
At an industrious pace of five to ten Gamma Knife surgeries per day in recent years, Hospital La Timone is on course to make 2010 its busiest Gamma Knife year ever, with patients treated predicted to exceed 900.
Since acquiring its Perfexion system in 2006, Hospital La Timone has harnessed this system’s faster workflow and larger treatable volume to improve and expand its radiosurgery applications.
“We clearly are treating more lesions outside the cranium,” Dr. Régis says. “We also now easily treat multiple brain metastases in a single session—our record was 23 metastases. Some years ago we had been treating between one and three mets in one session, but today we routinely treat patients who have up to 10 mets.”
Gamma Knife surgery will play an increasingly critical role in the treatment of multiple metastases as the medical literature continues to show evidence concerning the toxicity of whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT), he adds.
Not only have La Timone’s Gamma Knife applications changed, but with Perfexion, the time it takes to plan even complex treatments has been dramatically accelerated.
“Calculation time has been reduced by about a factor of 10, from an hour or more to just a few minutes now,” Dr. Régis notes.
As Hospital La Timone embarks on its next 10,000 patients, the range of applications for Gamma Knife surgery only seems to grow.
“We are investigating extracranial radiosurgery in the cervical spine and in the maxillary and mandibular areas of the face, which is quite new for us,” Dr. Régis says. “Second, we will expand our use of hypofractionation. Third, we will begin to treat some Parkinson’s disease patients. We have entered a prospective, multi-center trial which will evaluate the role of Gamma Knife surgery in Parkinson’s patients who are contraindicated for deep brain stimulation.”
Dr. Jean Régis and staff mark University Hospital La Timone's 10,000th patient treated with Leksell Gamma Knife.
Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy and radiosurgery, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care.Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy and radiosurgery, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care.
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