The Gamma Knife is not actually a knife – it is a dedicated intra-cranial stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy device.
The device delivers high-intensity cobalt radiation therapy, providing a non-invasive way to treat small to medium size lesions inside the skull.
Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery uses many small gamma rays to deliver a precise dose of radiation to the target to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours. This is delivered precisely to avoid damaging healthy brain tissue. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is able to accurately focus many beams of gamma radiation on one or more tumours during the same treatment. To enable this, 192 radioactive sources are used.
Over the last 30 years, Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy has revolutionised the management of patients with select brain tumours and brain disorders who in the past had very limited treatment options.
Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery is widely accepted as the gold standard in radiosurgery for adults and children with brain tumours. Gamma Knife technology is also employed to treat non-cancerous neurologic disorders.
It allows Peter Mac’s experts to treat tiny tumours and other targets in the brain with extraordinary accuracy. This is a major benefit for our patients – it’s a painless, extremely precise treatment that kills cancer cells and treats while avoiding damage to healthy brain tissue.
Importantly, this new treatment may also provide options for patients who have not responded to other treatments for a range of non-cancerous conditions, such as painful trigeminal neuralgia, cranial vascular disorders, epilepsy and, for some, in Parkinson’s disease.