Milestone Moment: 1,000 Gamma Knife Icon Treatments

Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center in 2016 took a giant leap forward in continuing to ensure the most innovative and effective treatment for patients by bringing the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon to our community. The Cancer Center remains one of just a few locations in the nation where patients can receive this non-invasive, treatment for cancerous and non-cancerous tumors and central nervous system disorders.

After less than five years in operation, the Cancer Center has reached a significant milestone, performing its 1,000th procedure utilizing the revolutionary technology. On February 11, Mr. Joel Akers received the landmark procedure under Dr. Suchit Patel’s care for brain metastases from lung cancer.

Since 2016, more than 560 patients from over 125 cities, traveling from as far as South Carolina and Wisconsin, have received radiation with the Gamma Knife Icon. The Cancer Center has treated over 40 different conditions with this device.

Dr. Patel says, “Gamma Knife is a superior technology that has been a game changer for patients. When someone like Mr. Akers has an option to have less of their brain exposed to radiation, they want to take it. It’s incredible to be able to offer a treatment that helps enhance patients’ quality of life in a way that doesn’t cause pain or a lengthy recovery.”

This life-saving radiosurgery allows the Cancer Center’s Gamma Knife team, consisting of radiation oncologists, medical physicists and nurses, to treat tumors of any shape, size and location with ultra-high precision while delivering low toxicity to normal tissue. Chief operating officer and chief of physics at the Cancer Center, Dr. Jonas Fontenot, says, “One thousand Gamma Knife procedures is a momentous achievement. Advances in medicine such as Gamma Knife have led to remarkable outcomes for many patients who previously faced invasive procedures with long recoveries.”

Gamma Knife also provides an option to help keep the patient still during treatment with a non-invasive mask, known as a frameless procedure. This eliminates the patient from having screws placed into the bone of the skull to hold the head in place with a frame, as had been necessary prior to the invention of the Gamma Knife Icon.

Of the 1,000 Gamma Knife procedures performed at the Cancer Center, over 90% have been frameless, increasing patient’s comfort before, during and after treatment.

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The Cancer Center doesn’t just treat cancer. We treat unique conditions with powerful technology.

To learn more about Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake’s Gamma Knife Icon, click here.