The goal of stereotactic radiosurgery by definition is "the delivery of a single, high dose of radiation allowing the precise and complete destruction of chosen target structures containing healthy and/or pathological cells, without significant concomitant or late radiation damage to adjacent tissues". This effect is obtained by the precise focusing of multiple low energy radiation beams crossing at the target. Three different techniques can be used for radiosurgery: linear accelerator (LINAC) based radiosurgery, Bragg-peak (proton) therapy and Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Leksell Gamma Knife (LGK) is a dedicated neurosurgical device for brain surgery to destroy predetermined intracranial targets through the intact skull. It operates via the radiobiological effect of stereotactically directed, highly focused ionizing gamma-beams of 201 cobalt-60 sources. The LGK offers the best precision of target during irradiation. The mechanical accuracy is about 0.3 mm, which makes it particularly suitable for highly sophisticated neurosurgical interventions. Radiosurgery was originally developed to treat functional neurological disorders, but soon after its introduction cerebral arteriovenous malformations, and brain tumors became the main targets for the technique. Since the first LGK installation at the Sophiahemmet Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden in 1967, over 150,000 patients have already been treated in more than 150 units worldwide. The accumulated clinical experience with the LGK has established this method as the "golden standard" of radiosurgery. In December 1999, a new development, the LGK Model-C was installed at the Centre Gamma Knife, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Hôpital Académique Erasme, Brussels, Belgium. This was followed by completion of two similar units in Krefeld, Germany, and at the Presbyterian University Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. The major innovation in the design of the LGK Model-C is the robotic Automatic Positioning System, which allows computer-controlled automatic and sequential positioning of multiple shots during treatment. Thus all steps of the procedure are performed through an unbroken digital chain, from stereotactic image acquisition to the control of the irradiation sequence. This represents a significant achievement which increases the accuracy and practicality of the treatment. The technical details of the method are described, and the main treatment indications are reviewed.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 7 2001|
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