Body Radiosurgery, an adaptation of the Photon Knife, was developed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1991, and has been used successfully to treat thousands of patients. It allows dosages five to six times greater than that of conventional radiation therapy. This increased dosage capability permits the radiation oncologist to treat many types of cancer, including those previously considered terminal.

The benefits of body radiosurgery are many: Actual treatment time is only 45 minutes; hospitalization is not needed; the procedure is less expensive; side effects are virtually eliminated; the damage to adjoining tissues is minimal, and most important, it can treat hard-to-reach tumors. The success rate has been between 80 and 90 percent. Depending on the size of the tumor, three to five treatments may be required. Patients who have failed other conventional treatments such as radiation therapy, surgery or chemotherapy can be successfully treated with body radiosurgery. This treatment works equally well for metastatic or primary tumors.

One of the areas that has been most promising has been the management of metastatic liver tumors. WROA has obtained excellent results for patients who have had tumors in the liver that have spread from the breast, lung, kidney, colon, rectum, gallbladder and pancreas.

Patients who have failed conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery have responded equally well to body radiosurgery when compared to patients who have not had prior treatment.

The treatment regimen typically involves one to five treatments -- with the patient returning to work and normal activities the following week.

The treatment process works accordingly: An individual lays on his or her back in an immobilizing frame that is linked to a modern, three-dimensional planning computer system. A diaphragm control helps stabilize the individual, and two lasers assist in position verification. Also, the frame can be adjusted within five millimeters accuracy. The individual and frame are then moved into a computerized tomography (CT) scanner or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. The CT and/or MRI help create additional images for dose planning. A second CT/MRI is conducted to verify the treatment plan, after which the actual procedure occurs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Behar precisely aligns the body frame prior to the actual treatment.

The green lines represent the focused beams of radiation that will attack a cancer during body radiosurgery.