Clinical Effectiveness & Outcomes

Clinical Effectiveness Of Gamma Knife Surgery

More than 1,200 medical articles have been published in the past 30 years regarding the clinical effectiveness of Gamma Knife® surgery. Results vary by type of lesion, its location, and its size, but studies show that Gamma Knife surgery is highly effective for a number of conditions:

Brain Metastasis - Gamma Knife can be used as the primary treatment for single or multiple brain metastases, or in addition to whole brain radiation. With Gamma Knife treatment alone, the tumor control rate has been reported as high as 87 percent. This is 2.8 times better than the control rate reported for linear accelerator (LINAC) radiosurgery.2

Acoustic Neuroma - A recent study of 163 patients treated with the Gamma Knife demonstrated; zero incidence of any facial nerve dysfunction with a 97 percent tumor control rate and improved hearing in 7 percent of patients.3

Meningioma - The Gamma Knife tumor control rate is 93 percent with a recurrence rate of 6 percent. This is compared with LINAC radiosurgery, which has a tumor control rate of 89 percent and a recurrence rate of 10 percent, and with microsurgery, which has a tumor recurrence rate of 24 percent.4

Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) - Gamma Knife has reported an obliteration rate of 70 percent, while the obliteration rate for LINAC radiosurgery averages 60 percent.4

Trigeminal Neuralgia - Gamma Knife is one of the best standard treatments for this condition and "unlike Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, LINAC radiosurgery has not been demonstrated to be an effective and safe treatment for trigeminal neuralgia".5

Additional Clinical Information

General Advantages of Gamma Knife Surgery - An overview of the greater precision, lower risks, patient comfort and cost savings afforded by Gamma Knife surgery.

Comparing Crainiotomy, LINAC and Gamma Knife - Understanding how Gamma Knife surgery compares to crainiotomy or linear accelerator (LINAC) approaches. Includes comparison chart.

Clinical Bibliography - Published papers regarding Gamma Knife surgery, key clinical reference articles and other resources for medical professionals. Includes downloadable bibliographies for various conditions.

Gamma Knife Treatment of Acoustic Neuroma (articles reprinted with permission from Brain Talk, vol. 9, number 2, September 2004).

About this Article

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2 Hasegawa, Kondziolka, Flickinger, et. Al., "Brain Metastases Treated with Radiosurgery Alone: An Alternative to Whole Brain Radiotherapy?" Neurosurgery, June 2003.

3 Flickinger, Kondziolka, Niranjan, et. Al., "Results of Acoustic Neuroma Radiosurgery: An Analysis of 5 Years' Experience Using Current Methods," Journal of Neurosurgery, Jan. 2001.

4 Prasad, D., "Gamma Knife Surgery, Microsurgery, and Modified Linear Accelerator Radiosurgery: A Review of Published Results," Clinical Review, Jan. 1999.

5International RadioSurgery Association - Trigeminal Neuralgia -

Gamma Knife® is a registered trademark of Elekta Group.

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  • MyMichigan Medical Center Midland is a leader in neuroscience and cancer care in the state of Michigan.
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