In support of regenerative medicine, the latest in technology takes brain, spine, head, and neck injuries to the next level of surgery. McGowan Institute faculty member Douglas Kondziolka, MD, Peter J. Jannetta Professor of Neurological Surgery and Radiation Oncology, and co-director, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, was a part of the team of surgeons who provided input, recommendations, and participation in the design and development of the hospital’s new system, known as Leskell Gamma Knife Perfexion®.
The new system, one of only five in the U.S., is estimated to increase the numbers of patients who can benefit from gamma knife surgery by up to 40 percent, given its effectiveness in treating tumors of the skull base and cervical spine.
Gamma knife brain surgery involves no incisions but is a high dose of radiation delivered directly to a diseased area, thereby minimizing the risk of damage to healthy tissue. This is a multidisciplinary technology that relies on the training and experience of neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical physicists.
In 1987, L. Dade Lunsford, MD, distinguished professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and director, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery, UPMC Presbyterian, was the first to use the gamma knife clinically in North America. UPMC remains the world’s leader in radiosurgery experience, with more than 8500 patients treated using three fully functional gamma knife units.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
UPMC News Bureau (10/11/07)
Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery, UPMC