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Gamma knife; Cyberknife; Stereotactic radiotherapy; SRT; Stereotactic body radiotherapy; SBRT; Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy; Cyclotrons; Linear accelerator; Linacs; Proton beam radiosurgery
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a form of radiation therapy that focuses high-powered x-rays on a small area of the body. Other types of radiation therapy can affect nearby healthy tissue, Stereotactic radiosurgery better targets the abnormal area.
Despite its name, radiosurgery is a treatment, not a surgical procedure.
Some types of stereotactic radiosurgery require a specially fitted face mask or a frame attached to your scalp. This may be done using small pins or anchors that go through your skin, to the surface of your skull or bone.
During your treatment, you will lie on a table, which slides into a machine that delivers radiation beams. The machine may spin around you while it works. The nurses and doctors will be able to see you on cameras, and hear you and talk with you on microphones.
The radiation usually takes only about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Some patients may receive more than one treatment session, but usually no more than five sessions.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is often used to slow down the growth of small, deep brain tumors that are hard to remove during surgery. Such therapy may also be used in patients who are unable to have surgery, such as the elderly or those who are very sick. Radiosurgery may also be used after surgery to treat any remaining abnormal tissue.
Stereotactic radiosurgery was once limited to brain tumors, but today it may be used to treat many other diseases and conditions.
Brain and nervous system tumors:
Other cancers for which radiosurgery is either being used or studied include:
Chang EF, Quigg M, Oh MC, et al; Epilepsy Radiosurgery Study Group. Predictors of efficacy after stereotactic radiosurgery for medial temporal lobe epilepsy. Neurology. 2010 Jan 12;74(2):165-72.
Welling DB, Packer MD. Stereotactic radiation treatment of benign tumors of the cranial basae. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund VJ, Niparko JK, Richardson MA, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2010:chap 179.
Ewend MG, Morris DE, Carey LA, Ladha AM, Brem S. Guidelines for the initial management of metastatic brain tumors: role of surgery, radiosurgery, and radiation therapy. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2008;6:505-513.
Suh JH. Stereotactic radiosurgery for the management of brain metastases. N Engl J Med. 2010;362:1119-1127.
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