CyberKnife and Gamma Knife are advanced, state-of-the-art radiosurgery systems that treat cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. They also are effective treatments for vascular lesions and functional disorders, such as arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and trigeminal neuralgia. There are multiple types of CyberKnife and Gamma Knife treatments, which we have discussed in this article, along with how it works.
How does Gamma Knife work?
The Gamma Knife delivers high-intensity beams of radiation to the brain. These beams target and kill cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissues. The Gamma Knife is designed to treat multiple tumors and metastases simultaneously in a single session, making it the ideal solution for patients with brain cancer or other related brain conditions that require rapid resolution.
The gamma knife uses hundreds of beams to deliver a high dose of radiation to the targeted tumor. These beams are delivered to the target with extreme precision, using sub-millimeter accuracy. The machine’s streamlined design minimizes the chance of mechanical error resulting in side effects and other issues.
How does Gamma Knife Treatments Work?
You will go to a dedicated, private room in the hospital, where you’ll lie down on a sliding table. You will then be fitted with a special helmet called a collimator helmet, which has 201 holes that allow radiation beams to pass through it in a precise pattern. This allows the system to deliver high-dose radiation to your brain in a small, focused area and helps limit any side effects from the treatment.
To ensure that your brain receives the highest dose of radiation possible, your doctor will ensure you’re positioned in the best position for the gamma knife to reach your tumor. This can be accomplished through imaging that is done days or weeks before the gamma knife treatment.
During imaging, your doctor will use CT or MRI scans to create an accurate image of your brain tumor. This information will be used to map out your radiation plan so that the radiation can be directed to the correct location and the surrounding healthy tissue is spared.
Once inside the Gamma Knife, your head will be placed into a metal head frame bolted to your skull. You cannot move during the treatment, which can take up to several hours. You may hear a clicking sound as the helmet moves into place.
The Gamma knife uses a computer-controlled device to deliver multiple, focused radiation beams to your brain. Unlike other types of radiation, the Gamma knife is extremely precise. This technology also limits the amount of radiation that can reach normal tissue around your tumor, resulting in less risk of side effects and less pain after treatment.
How Gamma Knife Therapy Works?
Unlike other LINACs, the Gamma Knife treatment is completed on the same day as the imaging. This enables your doctors to keep your treatment plans up to date, so they can consider any changes in your condition since the last time you had imaging.