Study Shows Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Patients With Multiple Brain Metastases is Best for Sparing Healthy Tissue

Metastatic brain cancer is most common form of brain disease, occurring in up to 20 percent of all cancer patients

Mar 30, 2011, 09:00 ET from Elekta

ATLANTA, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The volume of normal brain tissue exposed to radiation during treatment for multiple metastases appears to depend on which stereotactic radiosurgery system is employed, according to a recent study in the Journal of Neurosurgery(1). Comparing treatment plans developed for use by three different treatment systems for a single patient (already previously treated with Leksell Gamma Knife®), researchers found that Gamma Knife plans would result in "much smaller normal brain volumes receiving any particular dose" than the two other systems' plans.

The study compared treatment plans by Washington Fremont Hospital's (Fremont, Calif.) Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™, the University of Utah's (Salt Lake City) BrainLAB Novalis™ system and the University of California San Francisco's Accuray CyberKnife® system and involved a patient with 12 metastatic brain lesions. Gamma Knife is widely regarded as the gold standard for treating brain metastases.

"The discrepancy in normal brain volumes exposed between the Gamma Knife plans and those from CyberKnife and BrainLAB was generally on the order of two to three times lower for the Gamma Knife plans," says David Larson, M.D., Ph.D., Radiation Oncologist and Co-Medical Director at Washington Fremont Hospital's Gamma Knife Program. "You could expect that patients and physicians would look more favorably on any radiation therapy treatment option that can demonstrate lower unintended radiation exposure to normal tissues."

This study is particularly compelling given trends in cancer survival and incidence. A major outcome of improved cancer therapies is that patients are living longer(2), which in turn may result in a higher incidence of patients experiencing recurrent brain metastases(3). Accordingly, for this growing population of cancer survivors, effective treatment of multiple brain metastases is increasingly essential.

About Gamma Knife surgery

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a gentler alternative to traditional brain surgery for illnesses such as metastatic disease, which is cancer that has traveled 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.

Related links:

http://thejns.org/doi/abs/10.3171/2011.1.JNS101056

www.livingwithbrainmets.org

  1. Ma L, Petti P, Wang B, et al. Apparatus dependence of normal brain tissue dose in stereotactic radiosurgery for multiple metastases. Published online March 4, 2011; DOI: 10.3171/2011.1.JNS101056.
  2. CDC: Cancer Survivors --- United States 2007. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: March 11, 2011 / 60(09);269-272.   http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6009a1.htm?s_cid=mm6009a1_w
  3. Smedby KE, Brandt L, Backlund ML, Blomqvist P. Brain metastases admissions in Sweden between 1987 and 2006. Br J Cancer 2009;101:1919-24. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2788258/pdf/6605373a.pdf)

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.

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, 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. For more information about Elekta, please visit www.elekta.com.

SOURCE Elekta



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