Dheerendra Prasad, MD, visits the Cancer Center

Gamma Knife Icon Expert Visits Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center


(Baton Rouge, La.) An international expert in the use of the Lekesell Gamma Knife® Icon™ stereotactic radiosurgery system recently visited Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center to share his experience and expertise with physicians who will be utilizing the technology at the Baton Rouge facility. The Cancer Center, the first in the Gulf South and one of only a handful American institutions to offer Gamma Knife Icon, will begin treating patients with the machine in October.

During a dinner and lecture for radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists and medical physicists, Dheerendra Prasad, MD, director of the Gamma Knife Center and professor of neurosurgery and radiation oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, presented a history of Gamma Knife and an overview of the technology’s power. According to Dr. Prasad, Gamma Knife technology has evolved over the years and the Icon, the newest and most advanced iteration of the machine, is a game changer for people with brain tumors, brain metastases and other functional disorders.

“Patient after patient, it has been proven that the Gamma Knife’s accuracy and reliability are unmatched,” said Dr. Prasad. “And with the Icon, no frame is needed for many patients, which offers even greater patient convenience and comfort. The Gamma Knife Icon is dramatically changing the dialogue in the physician community for how we can manage tumors and spare healthy tissues within the brain.”

Previously, similar treatments required the surgical attachment of a rigid frame to the patient’s skull to ensure accuracy. With the Gamma Knife Icon, in most cases, no frame is required due to the device’s onboard CT imaging system and pinpoint image fusion and motion tracking technologies. The treatment is noninvasive with no incision, pain, lengthy recovery time or hospital stay.

Charles Wood, MD, medical director of radiation oncology at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, likened the Gamma Knife Icon’s precision to how a skilled artist can color within fine lines.

“The technology allows us to focus a high dose of radiation on a pinpointed area,” said Dr. Wood. “It looks like you’re painting the tumor with a paintbrush. And with the Gamma Knife Icon, we can use the finest, thinnest paintbrush imaginable to eliminate the tumor and keep healthy brain tissue intact.”

Dr. Prasad serves as an onsite advisor to institutions around the world training to use Gamma Knife Icon and is a pioneer in the use of the technology. He received his medical degree from All India Institute of Medical Sciences and has been in practice for more than 20 years. His areas of expertise include brain and spinal cord tumors, trigeminal neuralgia, vascular malformations of the brain and epilepsy.  Dr. Prasad is board certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology and is internationally certified in neurosurgery.

For more information on Gamma Knife Icon, visit mbpolol.org/gammaknife.

About Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center

As a regional destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers the most advanced technology and services provided by a dedicated team of nationally-recognized oncology experts. The Cancer Center provides best-practice, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey, including disease site-specific multidisciplinary care teams, a robust clinical research program and extensive supportive care services. As a nonprofit organization, donor generosity is essential to sustaining the mission of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer for so many throughout Southeast Louisiana and beyond. For more information on the Cancer Center, and how you can become involved, please visit mbpolol.org