Patients with benign and malignant brain lesions can be treated with surgical resection, radiosurgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or any combination of these. Physicians must individualize the management of these patients and understand the advantages and disadvantages of each discipline involved: radiation oncology, neurosurgery, and medical oncology.
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a non-invasive method of delivering a single, high-dose of radiation to a prescribed tumor. It is principally used to treat cancers of the brain, and head and neck that cannot be treated through surgery. Our doctors have collectively treated more than 800 patients using stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and they were among the first in New Jersey to begin using BrainLAB based stereotactic radiosurgery, an enhancement in SRS that provides even greater targeting acccuracy and better results for our patient. SRT and SRS are therapies that can be delivered without the need for hospitalization and often with minimal side effects.
A patient who is interested in stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) will typically go through the following steps:
Consultation and Imaging
To determine whether a patient is a good candidate for stereotactic radiosurgery, he or she will meet with both a radiation oncologist and a neurosurgeon. If SRS is determined to be the best course of treatment, the patient will undergo a special MRI. Prior to or on the day of the procedure, these MRI images will be combined with CT images using our BrainLAB technology. The scans and the fusion process ensure precise anatomical visualization of the tumor.
Our patients can be treated with a frameless or frame-based system. The frameless system utilizes an external mask that is molded to the contours of the face and head. If a frame is required, the neurosurgeon will place a stereotactic headframe around the patient's head on the day of the procedure, which will ensure accurate localization of the tumor. Four pins roughly the size of a pen tip will be placed on the scalp to keep the headframe from moving. This procedure will be performed under local anesthesia and is usually painless.
A comprehensive treatment plan will be created by the radiation oncologist, neurosurgeon, and physicist. The patient will be brought into the radiation treatment room and positioned on the treatment machine. The frameless mask or stereotactic headframe will be locked into position on the treatment couch, ensuring that the patient remains completely still when the radiation is being delivered.
When the treatment is over, the frameless mask or headframe will be removed by the radiation oncologist. Stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic radiation therapy do not require hospital admission, and the patient may return home the same day.