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Targeted brain radiation without a halo


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A friend of mine in MN had it done. She called it laser knife. When I asked about it, she said it's like gamma knife but does NOT use the metal frame.

I didn't ask her at the time, but I assume they use a mask in lieu of the frame, as they do for WBR.

Try doing a search for laser knife radiation....see what you find. I've not done so....because when I asked about any of that...I was told I wasn't a candidate because I had too many tumors. Only WBR would work for me.

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When my mom had stereotactic radiation in January of this year, she had the halo and being there like 12 hours and all.

When she had a new met treated in August, it was the same treatment, Dr., etc, but they said there had just been advancements to where the halo was no longer needed. Mom wore a mask like the one from her WBR. She was also in and out in about 2 hours.

I would strongly recommend finding a place where there is no halo. Mom's head is still sore around the areas of her halo/the screws.

Here is a link in case it will help you in your area..http://www.mayfieldclinic.com/Precision/about.htm

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Jen, Here it is. It was Dr. Woodburn:


The following is a response to your request to describe the types and advantage of radiosurgery devices.

Gamma Knife - Gamma Knife is the gold standard for radiosurgery. The GK was developed in Sweden in the 1970's. The Gamma Knife is still undesputedly the most precise radiosurgery device. It has no moving parts which enables the high degree of precision

Linear accelerator based systems - novalis is an example of Linac based systems. They are generally not as precise as the Gamma Knife because they have a heavy head that rotates on a gantry. Moving parts always lead to some decrease in precion. The heavy head cause some bending leading to some decreased precision. Novalis has been able to effectively market there device on radio ads. I know that there have been a lot of ads on the radio in Indianapolis and I really think that they are unfortunately misleading. Novalis is a good tool but offers no advantage over Gamma Knife and one could argue that Gamma knife is better because of its increased precision. In fact there is one controversial study demonstrating better results for the gamma knife compared to linear accelerator systems.

Cyberknife - the Cyberknife is a robot that has a linac attached to it. The cyberknife claims to be able to perform radiosurgery without an invasive head frame due to its sophisticated imaging/tracking system. The ability to not use a head frame is certainly an advantage. However, there has to be a loss of precision with this method. Also, there is some loss of precision secondary to moving parts and weight as seen in linacs.

Now, having critiqued the devices, I must say that the precision that I am talking about probably makes no difference for brain metastasis. The Gamma Knife is accurate to withing 0.1 mm. The linacs are probably accurate to within 1.0 mm. However, the Gamma Knife precision is important when there is a tumor a few mm away from the optic nerves or other critical structures.

Hope this helps.

Robert Woodburn M.D.


Robert T. Woodburn M.D.

Cancer Treatment Group

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