Gamma knife. The gamma knife, used for a procedure known technically as stereotactic gamma knife radiosurgery, combines precise stereotactic guidance and a sharply focused beam of radiation energy to deliver a single, precise dose of radiation. Despite its name, the gamma knife does not require a surgical incision. Investigators using this tool have found it can help them reach and treat some small tumors that are not accessible through surgery.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is most appropriate for those who have benign or malignant brain tumors that are less than about one and one-third inches (3.5 centimeters) in diameter.
- Single or multiple metastatic tumors
- Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma)
- Trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux) - one cause of severe facial pain
- Arteriovenous malformation
- Glioma (glioblastoma, astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma)
- Pituitary tumor (adenoma)
The response of any given tumor to radiotherapy is dependent on many factors. Gamma Knife technology is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the results of treatment have been studied in detail and have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
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