Doctors Use Leksell Gamma Knife for First Time in Chile

System for treating cancer and disorders of the brain delivers therapeutic radiation beams non-invasively

Santiago Chile — Sunday, June 12, 2011

On March 3 and 4, neurosurgeon Dr. Claudio Lühr and his team performed Chile’s first Gamma Knife® surgeries. The treatments occurred at Hospital Militar de Santiago’s new Gamma Knife Center Santiago S.p.A., a private venture dedicated to bringing Gamma Knife radiosurgery to Chile.

“The treatments were very successful and performed without any problems,” Dr. Lühr says. “The patients went home the next day in very good condition.”

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is an effective but gentler alternative to traditional surgery for life threatening brain disorders such as benign and malignant tumors, vascular malformations and functional disorders. One type of malignant tumor that Dr. Lühr and his team anticipate treating is metastatic brain tumor, which occurs when cancer has spread to the brain from elsewhere in the body. With pinpoint accuracy, the Gamma Knife system delivers thousands of highly focused low-intensity radiation beams to one or more targets in a single session.

Gamma Knife Center Santiago’s (a.k.a. Gamma Knife Chile) acquisition of Leksell Gamma Knife addresses a severe shortage of radiosurgery technology in this country of about 17 million inhabitants. Only two other centers practice radiosurgery in Chile, but they use linear accelerators that also must be used for standard radiation therapy treatments. Leksell Gamma Knife is a dedicated intracranial radiosurgery system. 

“Before we obtained the system, the only option for Chilean patients to receive Gamma Knife surgery was to travel to another country in South America or to the United States,” Dr. Lühr says.

He predicts that Gamma Knife surgery at Hospital Militar – a modern 350-bed, multi-specialty tertiary care medical center – will build patient volume over time, as doctors and patients appreciate and experience the advantages of Leksell Gamma Knife first hand.

“I foresee an exponential increase in our program as Gamma Knife surgery is recognized as a healthcare option in our public and private health care insurance systems,” he says.

The first Gamma Knife seminar was held at the hospital on March 18, where Dr. Roberto Martinez, a neurosurgeon from Hospital Ruber Internacional (Madrid, Spain) and Dr. Alvaro Martinez, a radiation oncologist from William Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, Mich., USA), gave presentations on their combined more than 30 years of Gamma Knife surgery experience.

To learn more, visit www.gammaknifechile.com

 

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About Elekta

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.

Stretching the boundaries of science and technology, providing intelligent and resource-efficient solutions that offer confidence to both healthcare providers and patients, Elekta aims to improve, prolong and even save patient lives, making the future possible today.

Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 5,000 hospitals globally, and every day more than 100,000 patients receive diagnosis, treatment or follow-up with the help of a solution from the Elekta Group.

Elekta employs around 2,500 employees globally. The corporate headquarter is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb.

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