Advanced Treatment for Brain & Spine Cancer

Gamma West utilizes revolutionary stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to treat brain and spine cancer. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-surgical radiation treatment used to treat tumors in the brain and spine. Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is used to treat other parts of the body. SRS and SBRT deliver a potent, highly focused dose of radiation to the tumor(s) while sparing the surrounding normal tissues. This ultra precise way of delivering radiation offers an alternative for patients who are not candidates for conventional surgery.

Higher doses focused on the target cause tumors to shrink by damaging the targeted cells. The damaged cells lose their ability to grow and reproduce. SRS and SBRT is delivered in as little as one to five days.

  • Shortens the treatment course
  • Improves tumor control
  • Reduces side effects
  • Patients who have a recurrence may be treated again
  • No surgery, surgical complications or hospital stay
  • Painless therapy
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Our Advanced TomoTherapy® Technology

TomoTherapy technology combines the power of image-guided (IMRT), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IGRT) and 3D CT imaging into one machine. This gives our radiation oncologists more control in how they plan treatments and more assurance that dose will be confined to the tumor, reducing the risk of short- and long-term side effects. While conventional radiation technology delivers treatments from only a few angles, TomoTherapy treatments are delivered continuously from 360°.

CT imaging can be used on a daily basis to guide the accurate delivery of each treatment session. No other radiation therapy machine offers this seamless integration of image-guided and intensity-modulated radiation therapy.

Benefits of TomoTherapy include:

  • Uses daily CT to guide treatment based on images for that day, rather than for last week or last month
  • Customizes delivery for each patient, surrounding the target with highly-precise radiation delivered from all angles
  • Minimizes radiation exposure to healthy tissue
  • If necessary, it can adapt the treatment plan at any point

What to Expect

You will have a CT scan or MRI to create a personalized treatment plan. Your doctor will use 3D images and special software to establish the precise contours for each tumor and any regions of risk (sensitive organs or structures). Your doctor will decide how much radiation the tumor should receive and the appropriate pattern, position and intensity of the radiation beam will be calculated.

Ink marks or small tattoo-like dots may be placed on your skin in the area of the tumor to ensure the radiation is delivered to the tumor. You may also need a custom-fitted molded device to help keep you in the same position before and during treatment.

Our radiation therapists will bring you from the waiting room, into the treatment room with the TomoTherapy® linear accelerator (radiation machine). The therapist will make you comfortable in the room and assist you in getting positioned on the treatment table.

A CT scan will be taken before each treatment to verify the position of the tumor. Your position will be adjusted if necessary to help make sure radiation is directed precisely where it should be.

Therapists will align the laser to the target on your skin, indicated by the “tattoo-like” markings. Alignment takes only a couple of minutes. The therapists will leave the room to deliver and monitor your treatment.

During the stereotactic radiosurgery treatment, the machine will circulate around your body. You won’t feel anything. It’s much like having an x-ray. Sometimes the specific area of skin receiving treatment can get tender and sunburned, your healthcare team will want to know if you are experiencing any burning or discomfort during your treatment. Your healthcare team will guide you with proper care of your skin.

Typically the treatment takes about 10-15 minutes.

The most common side effect of radiation therapy is fatigue – it is very important to get plenty of rest and adequate nutrition. Generally, you will see your doctor weekly. We are always available if you need us.