A real estate appraiser for 27 years, Brent Loupe is no stranger to the value of location. So when the 61-year-old’s surgeon recommended the Gamma Knife Icon at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center to treat a tumor on his pituitary gland, Brent was relieved.
“Years ago, my mom was actually treated with an older version of Gamma Knife technology in another state,” said Brent. “I was familiar with its effectiveness, but the difference was that she had to go all the way to Philadelphia to get treatment. So you can imagine how thrilled I was that the Cancer Center, only 20 minutes away from my house, was one of just a few cancer facilities around the country to have this kind of advanced technology.”
“So you can imagine how thrilled I was that the Cancer Center, only 20 minutes away from my house, was one of just a few cancer facilities around the country to have this kind of advanced technology.”
Brent met with a care team at the Cancer Center led by radiation oncologist Dr. Maurice King to learn more about the Gamma Knife Icon, then had three treatments in July of 2018. He listened to music during each 30-minute Gamma Knife session while practicing deep breathing, a technique that helps patients both relax and focus on keeping as still as possible, ensuring the radiation’s accuracy.
The treatment is totally noninvasive, so Brent went to work a few hours after receiving each treatment. And in January of 2019, he and his family received the best news.
“There was nothing like hearing that the Gamma Knife worked,” said Brent. “Because of the treatment, they got it all, the tumor is shrinking, and it will continue to shrink. I’m so thankful that I could get this quality of care right here in Baton Rouge at a place where the compassion, expertise and technology are all top-notch.”
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
Gamma Knife Icon is available at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center in Baton Rouge. Learn more by visiting conquerdifferently.org, or call 877-756-9418.
- 61-year-old Brent Loupe needed radiation to treat a pituitary tumor.
- The Cancer Center is one of only a few facilities in the nation that has the Gamma Knife Icon technology to safely and effectively remove growths near the brain.
- He was pleased to know he could travel only 20 minutes to receive this advanced treatment.
- Brent had the noninvasive radiation therapy with few side effects, even working each day after treatment, and recently received the all-clear.
When people hear “breast cancer,” they don’t usually think of the disease affecting the brain. But it can happen and when it does it’s called metastatic breast cancer. It can occur when women are first diagnosed, but more commonly it metastasizes, or spreads, months or years after the initial treatment has been completed. In the past, treatment options were limited, but today there’s new hope.
Many people are living for years after a metastatic brain cancer diagnosis thanks to progress in medicine. According to the National Cancer Institute, a new study shows that the number of women in the United States living with metastatic breast cancer is growing while mortality rates are decreasing due to improvements in treatment.
One of the latest and most revolutionary advances is a new device called the Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™ stereotactic radiosurgery system, which can enhance life for patients with cancer that has spread to the brain.
Gamma Knife Icon is the only technology with micro-radiosurgery capabilities, meaning it can treat virtually any part of the brain, even the most hard-to-reach areas, with pinpoint accuracy—enabling treatment for thousands of patients both with and without a headframe.
“The sophistication of this technology is staggering,” said Renee Levine, MD, medical director of the Cancer Center’s Gamma Knife Icon Program. “It gives us the power to essentially hit a target the size of a pea through a concrete wall, without damaging anything sitting next to the pea. This finesse allows us to hit our targets without damaging the brain—the organ that makes us who we are.”
With the precision and accuracy of the Gamma Knife Icon, a tiny tumor (similar in size to a pea) that is blocked by bone and healthy tissue can be targeted while keeping healthy brain matter untouched.
For the Cancer Center, Gamma Knife Icon is the latest tool enhancing the comprehensive approach we truly abide by – working hard to find highly individualized treatment plans for metastatic breast cancer, as well as every other unique condition.
Learn more about the Gamma Knife Icon at www.conquerdifferently.org.
By Andrew Elson, M.D.
Painless, noninvasive, nonsurgical, outpatient. These words are rarely used when discussing treatment options for brain tumors and central nervous system conditions. However, these terms perfectly describe the Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™. The Gamma Knife Icon is the world’s most precise and noninvasive treatment device and it can now be accessed by contacting me or one of my colleagues at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington, LA.
With nearly 80,000 new cases of primary brain tumors expected to be diagnosed this year, including glioblastoma the disease for which Sen. John McCain is currently being treated, the Gamma Knife Icon is a game changer for those suffering with cancerous, benign and metastatic brain tumors as well as central nervous system conditions.
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.
Those seeking treatment are seen by local doctors in Covington 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. The Gamma Knife Icon is noninvasive with no incision, pain, lengthy recovery time or hospital stay.
Gamma Knife Icon 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
For more information on how you can start the conversation with us about Gamma Knife Icon, please visit marybird.org/brain.
Kimberly Hathorn’s cancer experience has endured for nine years, but she continues to persevere and live life on her own terms.
Originally diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2007, Kimberly was in remission until 2011. At that time, her cancer began metastasizing to various parts of her body, including her brain.
“It’s always scary when you find out you have cancer, but I turn to God because he is the ultimate healer,” said Kimberly. “I just take life day by day and continue doing things I enjoy such as reading, stamp collecting and spending time with my family and dog, Rocco.”
Kimberly says that looking for the good in everyday life also keeps her spirits up.
“There are so many good people in the world, and while you tend to hear about negative things happening, there are always more people like my doctors and other caregivers who are making a positive difference.”
Like Kimberly, many people are living many years after a metastatic brain cancer diagnosis, thanks to advances in medicine. Kimberly was excited when she learned that her latest brain tumor could be treated with a new device, the Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™ stereotactic radiosurgery system, which can enhance life for patients with malignant and nonmalignant brain tumors.
“I’m very hopeful that the Icon treatment will work,” said Kimberly. “The machine was so quiet; it was over within 30 minutes and the treatment team played music overhead to help pass the time.”
“The pace at which new technologies and clinical trials are being developed is happening rapidly,” said Dr. Renee Levine, radiation oncologist. “For instance, with the Icon we can effectively eliminate brain many types of brain tumors without surgery and keep healthy tissue unharmed; it’s a major factor in keeping patients living as normal a life as possible.”
The Gamma Knife Icon is now available at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, the only facility in the Gulf South with this revolutionary new technology.
For more information on Gamma Knife Icon, visit www.conquerdifferently.org.