With the recent installation of the PerfexionTM Gamma Knife®, Tufts Medical Center is the first and only Boston hospital to offer what many clinicians consider to be the gold standard in stereotactic radiosurgery. Designed solely for the treatment of lesions within the head and functional disorders such as trigeminal neuralgia, the new Perfexion system expands the conditions and types of patients that can be treated.
“We can now more easily treat peripheral lesions inside the head, as well as tumors in the eyes, skull base and upper cervical spine that were difficult to reach before,” Julian Wu, MD, Associate Chairman of Tufts Medical Center’s Department of Neurosurgery, and Chief, Division of Neurosurgical Oncology. The new machine also is designed for greater patient comfort, allowing more neck and shoulder positioning and room during treatment.
Importantly, Perfexion also greatly reduces the length of sessions and the number of sessions needed for each patient with its faster, automated set-up and ability to treat multiple tumors in a single session.
"Its software is optimized for rapid treatment planning so there is less time needed between the MRI and treatment with the gamma knife,” explains Radiation Oncologist John Mignano, MD, PhD. “As a result, patients can come in in the morning and have all their treatment completed by midafternoon.” With any other stereotactic radiosurgery system, it takes multiple visits for imaging, planning and treatment, he notes. Faster radiosurgery treatment also means that Perfexion patients who require adjuvant chemotherapy can get it underway sooner.
To expand access to the new system, Tufts Medical Center not only is encouraging patient referrals but also inviting community-based neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists to be part of the treatment team. If these local physicians have a patient they feel is appropriate for radiosurgery with the Gamma Knife, the physician may participate in the actual treatment of his or her patient after undergoing training and credentialing.
Drs. Wu and Mignano are strong proponents of Gamma Knife technology and the new Perfexion system, citing its well-documented clinical history that includes 40 years of clinical research and more than 3,000 published peer-reviewed clinical studies. Tufts Medical Center installed its first Gamma Knife in 1999.
“This is solid, precision technology that has a proven track record,” says Dr. Wu. “The Gamma Knife is really the gold standard for radiosurgery, and Perfexion is a significant advance that further improves patient treatment.”
To refer a patient for Gamma Knife surgery or to discuss participating in their care, call 617-636-4500.
Conditions treated by stereotactic radiosurgery with the Gamma Knife
- Benign brain tumors, including acoustic neuromas (vestibular schwannomas), meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, pineal tumors, craniopharyngiomas, chordomas, and low-grade gliomas and glomus tumors
- Malignant brain tumors, including high-grade gliomas, malignant meningiomas, chondrosarcoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma
- Brain stem tumors
- Orbital tumors such as choroidal melanomas
- Sinus tumors
- Metastatic brain tumors, including single and multiple metastases
- Vascular malformations such as arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
- Functional disorders, including trigeminal neuralgia and glossopharyngeal neuralgia
Many patients treated with the Gamma Knife at Tufts Medical Center have trigeminal neuralgia, notes Dr. Mignano. “No other stereotactic radiosurgery system can treat this condition as easily and accurately as Perfexion,” he says.