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Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Targeted Brain Cancer Treatment

The Maurer Family Cancer Care Center at Wood County Hospital continues to offer patients the most advanced technology to treat cancer. The most recent technology offered to our patients is radiosurgery. Radiosurgery allows for precise radiation treatment of small lesions in the brain without surgically opening the brain.

The physician initially works to target the lesion by mapping the brain and arranging for a very high dose of radiation to hit only the tumor while preserving the healthy cells around it. Once this area is targeted, a new technology called optical surface monitoring is used. Special infrared cameras in the treatment room monitor the patient’s head position during treatment and assure the patient’s head is in the same position as originally planned. Radiation beams automatically shut off if even a slight shift of the head is detected.  This technology, along with a customized form of the head, ensure that the patient’s head is in the same place each time a treatment is performed and the delivery of the radiation is precise. Additionally, a specialized table with six degrees of movement allows the patient to be moved for the best angle of treatment. Each treatment requires two therapists, a medical physicist and a physician present in the control room to monitor the treatment.

This technology is delivered in a single treatment visit. This eliminates a very invasive brain surgery and many weeks of conventional radiation therapy treatments. The patient experiences fewer side effects than surgery and conventional radiation therapy and has no pain during the treatment.

“I have been doing treatments for 40 years. Thinking about then vs. now is just amazing as we have come so far in cancer treatment.” Julie Rehard, RTT