Noninvasive Care Option for Brain Tumors Available to Hammond Patients

New Gamma Knife Icon technology is a new option for patients with cancerous and benign and metastatic brain tumors and central nervous system conditions

(Hammond, LA) Nearly 80,000 new cases of primary brain tumors are expected to be diagnosed this year, including glioblastoma, the disease for which Sen. John McCain is currently being treated. Hammond patients suffering with many types of brain tumors and other neurological conditions now have convenient access to the world’s most precise and noninvasive treatment device, the Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™. The Gamma Knife Icon adds to the list of powerful advanced radiation treatment technologies available for patients and can be accessed by contacting local doctors practicing at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Hammond, LA.

Patients receiving treatments are seen by local doctors in Hammond for all necessary imaging and pretreatment care. The treatment, which is typically administered in one visit, is provided at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center in Baton Rouge.

“Gamma Knife offers treatment for brain metastases, brain tumors and central nervous system conditions, benign tumors of the brain, and has been studied as one potential option for select patients with recurrent glioblastoma,” said Andrew Elson, M.D., radiation oncologist and Gamma Knife Icon credentialed physician, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Hammond. “It’s nonsurgical, painless and can accurately target even the most hard to reach or inoperable areas of the brain. Most of the time, in just one treatment, this technology can greatly enhance quality of life for those who, in the past, had few options. Aside from this unmatched technology, the beauty of this is that you can start this conversation locally – either with one of our radiation oncologists or your own physician to see if Gamma Knife Icon is right for you.”


Previously, similar treatments took a majority of the day to complete and included 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. It can sometimes serve as an effective alternative to surgery, and for certain indications, may replace conventional radiation therapy. Gamma Knife Icon radiosurgery typically requires only a one-time treatment in an outpatient setting, but can be used more than once.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a potential treatment option for the following conditions:

  • Metastatic brain tumors and lesions arising from primary tumors of the breast, uterus, kidney, colon, skin (melanoma) or other organs
  • Brain tumors, malignant and benign
  • Acoustic neuromas, non-cancerous tumors of the nerve connecting the brain to the ear
  • Trigeminal neuralgia and other neurological disorders
  • Vascular malformations

“The availability of this breakthrough technology close to home, along with the opportunity to be treated by a local oncologist, offers patients a best practice standard of care. While this technology may be located in Baton Rouge, care can absolutely begin locally in Hammond” said Renee Levine, M.D., radiation oncologist and medical director of the Gamma Knife Icon program, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center. “We know patients do better when they can stay close to home for treatment, surrounded by their support systems.”

Gamma Knife Icon technology offers patients a level of care found at few other cancer centers across the country. Currently, Gamma Knife Icon is only available at select facilities in the U.S.

For more information on how you can start the conversation locally about Gamma Knife Icon, please call (985) 542-1138 or visit


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 advance 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, extensive supportive care services and is the only facility in the Gulf South with the revolutionary Leksell Gamma Knife®Icon™. 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