Gamma Knife treatment
If you've been diagnosed with a brain disorder, you may be feeling confused and overwhelmed, especially if your condition requires surgery. You're probably weighing the benefits — and the risks — and wondering if surgery is your only option.
The Boston Gamma Knife Center at Tufts Medical Center offers a safe, painless alternative for treating a wide range of brain cancers, benign tumors, facial pain and vascular malformations. Our team of neurosurgeons can help you decide if traditional brain surgery is the right choice or if you might be a candidate for noninvasive Gamma Knife treatments.
To learn more, read "Gamma Knife 101".
About Gamma Knife
The term "Gamma Knife" can be misleading. We do not use knives or make incisions of any kind. Instead, our state-of-the-art technology focuses 192 beams of gamma radiation on your brain tumor or abnormality. The treatment location receives an effective dose of radiation, but the beams pass harmlessly through the nearby healthy tissue.
The technology is complex, but the benefits are easy to understand. Because there are no incisions, Gamma Knife treatments are safer than traditional brain surgery. There's less risk of infections, complications or side effects. Many of our patients are relieved to learn that treatments are often performed in a single outpatient visit with just local anesthesia and that they'll likely be able to resume their normal activities within a few days.
As the first and only Gamma Knife Center in northern New England, we've helped treat thousands of people with conditions such as:
- Malignant tumors- We have strong expertise in treating metastatic cancers (cancers that have spread from other primary sites in the body to the brain), some primary brain cancer and ocular melanomas (cancers that have develop out of any pigmented cell within the eye).
- Benign tumors- The Gamma Knife can be used to treat benign tumors of the pituitary gland or cranial nerves (such as vestibular schwannomas).
- Vascular malformations- Our experts can treat congenital vascular anomalies of only veins, only lymph vessels, both veins and lymph vessels, or arteries that are connected directly to veins without any capillaries in between (arteriovenous malformations (AVMs))
- Functional disorders- The most common functional disorder that we treat is trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic condition that causes extreme facial pain.
Gamma Knife Center content
Meet Dr. Julian Wu, Chief of the Division of Neuro-Oncology
Great care starts with great care providers — and Julian Wu, MD is one of the best. His expertise is backed by over 20 years of experience with radiosurgical techniques. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranks him among the top 1% of neurosurgeons in the nation. Dr. Wu is also professor of neurosurgery at the prestigious Tufts University School of Medicine, where he trains future leaders in the field.
Dr. Wu and center co-director John Mignano, MD, PhD are committed to pushing the boundaries of Gamma Knife technology to improve patient care. For example, their team pioneered a progressive therapeutic approach for treating brain cancer: Following traditional brain surgery with Gamma Knife treatment can reduce local re-occurrence of metastatic tumors from about 50 to 15 percent or less — without the troubling side effects of whole-brain radiation.
Our doctors aren't the only experts on the team. Registered nurse Paula Lucas and lead radiosurgery therapist Stacey Francis both work closely with Gamma Knife patients. They'll guide you through your treatment and recovery, so you can feel confident that you're in good hands each step of the way.