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LINACWhat is Radiosurgery?

Radiosurgery is a radiation treatment used to treat small brain tumours and blood vessel malformations, and occasionally to treat certain painful conditions and movement disorders. Radiosurgery is not surgery at all. Rather it is a special form of radiation therapy. It is a closed, bloodless procedure using highly focused radiation to treat precisely targeted tissue. Mr. D'Urso uses a Linear Accelerator (LINAC) radiosurgery system at the William Buckley Radiotherapy Centre. Mr. D'Urso helped establish the multidisciplinary AVM clinic at the Centre, where patients are seen monthly. The clinic has two neurosurgeons, a radiation oncologist, and an interventional neuroradiologist. Patients at this clinic are bulk-billed to Medicare.

The radiosurgery technology is also referred to as "Stereotactic Radiosurgery" (SRS) for single treatments, or is referred to as "Stereotactic Radiotherapy" (SRT) when a treatment is spread across several visits. An alternative system to LINAC is referred to as the "Gamma Knife". Mr. D'Urso does not utilise Gamma Knife in his practice.

What is the treatment used for radiosurgery?

This treatment may be used as part of the overall management strategy for a brain tumour without prior surgery or after surgical biopsy or partial removal. The purpose of radiation therapy is to shrink the tumour mass by destroying tumour cells. Tumours often suitable for radiosurgery include metastatic brain tumours and primary brain tumours as well as acoustic neuromas. Radiosurgery can also be used to block and slowly shrink malformed blood vessels of the brain. Unique computer programs control the precise position of the radiation during treatment, allowing the treatment to be directed to the abnormal tissue with as small a margin of surrounding normal tissue as possible.

How is radiosurgery performed?

Radiosurgery is most often performed on an outpatient basis. Generally, the entire procedure is completed in 8 or 9 hours. The actual radiation treatment is less than one hour. Most patients may resume normal activities the next day.

Radiosurgery can successfully treat many different brain conditions, both benign and malignant. These include vascular malformations and functional disorders, as well as the following:

  • acoustic neuroma
  • brain AVM
  • chordoma
  • craniopharyngioma
  • glioma
  • hemangioblastoma
  • meningioma
  • metastases
  • pineal tumors
  • pituitary adenomas
  • trigeminal neuralgia
  • vestibular schwannoma

Click here to visit The William Buckland Radiotherapy Centre web site

Click here to visit the Brain Lab web site

Click here for detail on the technology of Radiosurgery

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