1. Who originated the body radiosurgery procedure?
The physicians and physicists at the Karolinska Institute
in Stockholm, Sweden, developed the procedure in 1991,
by adapting the principles of stereotactic radiosurgery
in treating brain tumors. This procedure is commonly
referred to as the Photon or Gamma Knife.
2. How many physicians in the United States
have been trained to perform body radiosurgery?
Only a few medical doctors have traveled to Sweden
and received personal instruction from the Karolinka
Institute. Physicians in Japan have also been treained.
Dr. Behar is one of the United States doctors, and
the only physician from the Houston area.
3. Does body radiosurgery involve actual surgery?
No. Radiosurgery is pinpoint precision radiation
using multiple, finely-contoured beams from many different
angles -- all aimed at the cancer, thus minimizing
radiation to normal, healthy tissue while the patient's
body is maintained in a stable position using a special
frame. Because the radiosurgery is so precise, greater
than normal doses of radiation can be given over a
shorter period of time on an outpatient basis. There
is no anesthesia, operative risks or lengthy hospitalization
4. What type of cancers can be treated by body
Some cancers do not respond well to conventional
surgery or chemotherapy. These include metastases
to sites such as the lungs, abdominal cavity, mediastinum,
retroperitoneal, liver and elsewhere. Metastases are
cancers that have spread from an original site either
through local extension, the lymph nodes or blood
vessels. Other cancers - either primary or metastatic
- body radiosurgery has positively impacted include:
neck, lung, breast, melanoma, kidney, pancreas, colon,
ovarian, thyroid, sarcoma, gall bladder, spine and
other extremeties. Additionally, body radiosurgery
is being used as an adjunct to the treatment of prostate
cancer by radioactive seed implants.
5. How can I learn if I am a candidate for
Recent CT and/or MRI scans are helpfull in the treatment
team assessing whether an individual can benefit from
body radiosurgery. Typically, an initial consult takes
place at which time revelant history and medical information
are obtained. If the patient is selected for body
radiosurgery, a follow-up appointment will be made
to develop the treatment plan and take an updated
CT scan. Western Radiation Oncology Associates is
sensitive to the needs of out-of-town travelers and
works to expedite the process. If you think you may
be a candidate, or know someone who may be, please
contact the WROA office at
(281) 517-0262. Often times,
Dr. Behar will talk directly with the potential patient
to assess the situation. Or complete the form in the
CONTACT US section of this website and E-Mail. Dr.
Behar has prepared a patient education brochure explaining
the body radiosurgery procedure in greater detail
that his office will be glad to forward. The office
fax number to request is
6. How many treatments are needed?
The exact number will depend on the size and location
of the tumor as well as other medical considerations.
Typically, no more than five treatments of 20 to 40
minutes each are needed.