Peter Mac News

Gamma Knife revolutionising brain cancer treatment

31 May 2024

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This month Peter Mac has put the spotlight on brain cancer awareness and our state-of-the-art Gamma Knife that has helped to improve the lives of patients living with cancer.

The Gamma Knife is a cutting-edge technology that uses radiation to precisely target and treat tumours and other neurological conditions in hard-to-access parts of the brain.

The dedicated Peter Mac team, in collaboration with experts from across the globe, began treating the first Australian and New Zealand patients at the start of 2021 and is approaching a significant milestone of 1,000 patients.

Gamma TeamThe Gamma Knife team with Dr Neda Haghighi (front left).

Gamma Knife lead clinician Dr Neda Haghighi said the machine - the first of its kind to be installed in Victoria and only the third in Australia - has revolutionised how we manage patients.

“Patients had very limited treatment options 30 years ago,” she said. “The Gamma Knife is the gold standard in radiosurgery.

“It is useful for both adults and children with brain tumours and lets our experts treat with extraordinary accuracy. It is a painless, precise treatment that kills cancer cells and treats. At the same time, it avoids damage to healthy brain tissue. 

“The outcomes for our patients have been very positive – and the non-invasive nature of the procedure means they can get back to their lives straight away.

“We have advanced our practice to treat vascular lesions called Arterial Venous Malformation (AVM) and pain syndrome called trigeminal neuralgia. Also, it is very efficient with a workflow that makes logistics easier for patients from all over Victoria.”

Dr Haghighi recently returned from the US where she presented data on the Gamma Knife at the International Society of Radiosurgery (ISRS) conference.

The Gamma Knife can also be used to treat a range of non-cancerous conditions, such as benign brain tumours, painful trigeminal neuralgia, cranial vascular disorders, epilepsy, and movement disorders such as tremor disease.

Read more on the Gamma Knife on our website.