Stereotactic Radiosurgery

A PAIN-FREE, NON-INVASIVE ALTERNATIVE TO SURGERY

Brookwood Baptist Health offers advanced radiation therapies using the TrueBeam® and CyberKnife® systems to deliver powerful cancer treatments with pinpoint accuracy, precision and speed. Capable of targeting tumors anywhere in the body, such as the head, prostate, lung, spine, liver, pancreas, and kidney, stereotactic radiosurgery can reduce treatment down to one to five days, compared to the weeks it takes to complete a course of conventional radiation therapy.

These therapies provide our radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons a wide range of options to treat the most complicated tumors. Our physician team works closely with multi-disciplinary cancer specialists, along with patients and their families, to make the best possible care decisions and maximize patient comfort.

Non-invasive treatment options available:

  • Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) – delivers high-doses of radiation to smaller tumors in the body, reducing the number of treatments required
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) - delivers high-doses of radiation to smaller tumors in localized areas of the brain and spine with great precision

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the patient benefits of treatment?

Pain-Free Procedure — The radiation treatment is a pain free, non-invasive alternative to surgery. The treatment does not require anesthesia, eliminating some of the risks associated with traditional surgery.

Minimal Recovery Time — Treatments are performed on an outpatient basis with little or no recovery time, compared to traditional surgery which can require an overnight hospital stay. This allows patients to return to normal activities almost immediately.

Superior Comfort — Patients experience improved comfort due to the system’s frameless design, which eliminates the pain and inconvenience associated with invasive head and body frames typically associated with other radiosurgery systems. 

 

How is “radiosurgery” treatment different from a traditional radiation therapy treatment?

Traditional radiation therapy typically delivers radiation to a wide field of tissue in the body resulting in the treatment of both the tumor and some amount of surrounding healthy tissue, delivered over a period of weeks. Radiosurgery devices, such as CyberKnife® and TrueBeam®, were designed to deliver radiation with extreme accuracy, targeting the tumor with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. With this level of accuracy, clinicians can deliver very high doses of radiation safely with minimal effect to surrounding healthy tissue in one to five days compared to weeks of traditional radiation therapy.

What can CyberKnife® and TrueBeam® treat?

Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-invasive surgery that uses computer delivered radiation to treat cancerous and non-cancerous tumors within the head, spine, lungs, prostate, liver, pancreas, and more. Below is a list of some intracranial (head and brain) tumors and lesions that can be treated:

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Anaplastic astrocytoma
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • DNET
  • Ependymoma
  • Gangliocytoma
  • Germinoma
  • Glioblastomas (certain cases)
  • Gliomas (certain cases)
  • Glomus jugulare tumor
  • Hemangioblastoma
  • Meningioma
  • Neurocytoma
  • Neurofibroma
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • PNET
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Schwannoma
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Vestibular schwannoma

Below is a list of some extracranial (outside of the head and brain) tumors and lesions that can be treated:

  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Colon cancer
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal
  • carcinoma
  • Non small-cell lung cancer
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Small-cell lung cancer
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Uterine cancer

 

How long does therapy take?

Although the number of treatments can vary depending on the type of cancer, a patient’s general health, and the radiation technique used, radiation treatments can be completed in just one to five visits. Each treatment session typically takes 30-60 minutes.

After treatment, when will the tumor or lesion disappear?

Depending on the medical condition targeted, the time frame can range from days, months, or years more slowly. Some tumors may disappear slower than others or may simply stop growing and present no further cell activity. After treatment, patients are typically asked to get periodic images (CAT scan or MRI) of their tumor(s) and additional tests so the physician can monitor the effectiveness of the treatment.

What are the side effects?

Side effects, if there are any, are cumulative, which means they develop over the course of treatment as the radiation builds up in the tumor. Side effects can be minor or severe, depending on the size and location of the tumor, general medical condition, and the treatment applied. Two of the most common side effects can be irritation or damage to the skin near the treatment site and fatigue.

Stereotactic radiosurgery at two convenient locations —

CyberKnife®
Brookwood Baptist Medical Center
2010 Brookwood Medical Center Drive
Birmingham, AL 35209
TrueBeam®
Princeton Baptist Medical Center
701 Princeton Ave SW
Birmingham, AL 35211

To find a physician that uses the stereotactic radiosurgery approach, call us at 205.877.8800.

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