Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

What Is Stereotactic Radiosurgery?

Stereotactic radiosurgery is a highly effective treatment approach that involves delivering a concentrated, high dose of radiation to a brain tumor from various angles, ensuring precision without harm to surrounding healthy tissue.

This form of radiation therapy targets specific abnormal areas within the brain. It requires the patient’s head to remain perfectly still during treatment, facilitated by a specialized device that aids in accurately directing the radiation beams. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-surgical procedure often employed to address inoperable lesions and tumors. It is also utilized as a post-operative treatment method to eliminate or obliterate abnormal blood vessels or tumor tissue in cases of congenital arteriovenous malformations.

Types Of Blood Cancer

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) :

This type involves one or more stereotactic radiation treatments along with the body but excluding the spine or brain. SBRT is used for treating:

  • Pediatric Cancers
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancers
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) :

SRS is primarily used for treating spinal and brain cancers.

Equipments Used For Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Linear Accelerator (LINAC):

A Linear Accelerator (LINAC) is a medical device that administers high-energy X-ray electrons or photons in curved paths around a patient’s head. It is often used in the procedure known as fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy. LINAC allows for the treatment of large tumors, either in a single session or across multiple treatment sessions.

Gamma Knife:

The Gamma Knife is a specialized medical instrument that utilizes 201 highly focused gamma rays with exceptional precision. It is primarily employed for the treatment of small to medium-sized lesions. The Gamma Knife’s accuracy makes it an ideal choice for targeting and treating specific areas within the brain, ensuring minimal impact on surrounding healthy tissue.

Procedure Of Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Stereotactic Radiosurgery by using Linear Accelerator (LINAC) :

This procedure is considered same as Gamma Knife procedure and has been categorized into 4 phases-

  • Imaging
  • Computerized Dose Planning
  • Head Frame Placement
  • Radiation Delivery

Radiation beams are delivered from many angles using gantry (a part of the LINAC machine) that rotates around the patient. Large tumors can be effectively treated with less repositioning and more uniformity as it delivers larger x-ray beam.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery Using The Gamma Knife: Four Phases Are Involved In This Procedure –

Placement of the Head Frame:

To ensure precision during treatment, a lightweight aluminum head frame with a box-shaped design is attached to the patient’s skull using pins. These pins immobilize the head, preventing any movement until the treatment session is complete. The primary purpose of this frame is to accurately focus gamma rays on the specific treatment site.

Imaging of the Tumor Location:

The precise location of the tumor in relation to the head frame is determined through either Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scanning.

Computerized Dose Planning:

A computer-aided treatment plan is developed to calculate the appropriate radiation dose for targeting the tumor.

Radiation Delivery:

Radiation beams are then directed to a specific area of the brain. These beams enter through various openings in a helmet that is secured to the head frame, allowing them to precisely target the desired site in the brain. The treatment session commences, and the patient can communicate with the physician using a microphone within the helmet. The physician can also monitor the patient through a camera integrated into the helmet. A distinct click and chime are heard when the helmet securely locks into the radiation source. The entire procedure typically lasts for about 2 to 4 hours, and the head frame is removed upon its completion.

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