Thanks to advances in motion tracking technologies used for years on nonbrain-related cancers, such as lung and liver, precision radiosurgery for treatment of malignant brain tumors can now be performed using a flexible, removable mask placed over the face, instead of the anchored stereotactic headframe, previously required. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is one of the first in the country to have the new Leksell GammaKnife® upgrade, called the Icon™ (Elekta, Sweden), which offers the motion-tracking mask, as well as the conventional headframe.
The radiation sources and beam technology are unchanged. According to James McInerney, MD, professor of neurosurgery, “Eliminating the need for a stereotactic headframe anchored to the skull opens up treatment possibilities that weren’t feasible in the past. This translates into hope for patients who had certain types of brain tumors that might have had fewer treatment options.” Continue reading