Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) is a noninvasive therapy that delivers highly focused radiation to tumors found in the brain, spine, and other body parts. It is most commonly used to treat brain tumors and cancer that spreads to the brain from other body parts.
How is SRS delivered?
SRS uses a highly sophisticated 3-D computerized image to detect the tumor’s exact location and to focus the photon beams precisely. Then, it will deliver the precise amount of radiation dose to the target in one session.
In a conventional sense, SRS cannot be considered surgery as it does not require anesthesia or incision in the case of an adult. Like other radiation therapies, SRS works by destroying the cells of tumors that will destroy or reduce the ability of the cancerous cells to reproduce. As a result, it will die eventually.
SRS effectively treats small, defined, and difficult tumors that cannot be reached through surgery. In addition, since SRS gives precise radiations, it will not affect the healthy tissues that surround the tumor.
Three SRS Technology
To deliver radiation to patients, SRS doctors use three technologies, and they are:
- Gamma knife- This is one form of radiation treatment that treats brain tumors and other dangerous conditions using surgical precision.
- Linear accelerator (LINAC)- this technology uses x-rays to deliver highly focused radiation at the cancerous tumors with high accuracy while not affecting the surrounding healthy tissues.
- Proton therapy- This advanced technology uses high-energy photon beams to deliver radiation. This technology also eliminates the chances of exposing surrounding healthy tissues to radiation.
Who can benefit from Stereotactic Radiosurgery?
SRS is one of the most used treatment methods by people with smaller tumors. Patients whose tumor is in areas not accessible by surgery or people who are advanced for neurosurgery can also use this radiation therapy. In addition, people who cannot tolerate anesthesia can benefit from SRS.
Benefits of Stereotactic Radiosurgery
Recently many people are opting for SRS as they offer many benefits, including:
- Precision- The advantage of SRS is that it delivers radiation at greater accuracy to the tumor than other radiation therapies.
- They will not affect or damage the surrounding healthy tissues.
- This radiation treatment also allows controlling the beam’s intensity so that no area gets affected by a significant dose.
- This high-dose treatment can be done in fewer sessions; at times, it can even be done in a single session.
- SRS reduces the risks posed by bleeding, infection, and anesthesia.
- They require minimal intervention from other treatments like chemotherapy, and as a result, it can be done as an outpatient treatment.
Side effects and risks of Stereotactic Radiosurgery
SRS is a noninvasive treatment and will pose less risk than surgeries. Even if they pose some side effects, they will be mostly temporary. The common side effects include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Bone weakness that causes breaks.
Thus, this single-day, high-dose radiation and low-risk therapy are one of the best treatments for tumors.