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Radiosurgery treats tumors without operation

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Patients diagnosed with brain tumor can now be treated without any surgery by using Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) procedure at Bengaluru’s Cytecare Cancer Hospital (CCH).

The facility has been recently launched by CCH in collaboration with Brains Neuro Spine Centre.

SRS is a form of radiation treatment. It is not a surgery. It does not involve incision or blood, it is a painless and non-invasive procedure. A ray is focused at the center of the tumor without affecting the other parts of the brain.

Radio Surgery involves Stereotactic principle to calculate the size and volume of the tumor, outline the configuration of the tumour, and identify the vital structures surrounding the tumor. It helps in identifying the radiation sensitive organs which are marked for treatment planning.

Dr. NK Venkataramana, Senior Consultant Neuro-Oncology, Cytecare, and Founder and Chief Neurosurgeon, BRAINS, said: “Radiation oncology has undergone immense changes over the years. With the development of technology in Radio Surgery, we are able to treat the tumor without affecting other normal tissues and blood vessels of the brain”.

Dr Venkataramana added that the only limitation is the size of the tumor which should be less than three cms. This procedure can even treat multiple tumors, if they are within the size limit, at different locations in the brain.

“This treatment is a day care procedure and the entire dose is calculated and delivered in minutes. We use very high-end stereotactic radio surgery machine, which is fast, safe and precise,” explained Dr Venkataramana.

Using the data derived from MR imaging, the total dose required to control the tumor is calculated and delivered by a team of neurosurgeons, radiotherapists, radiation physicists and, at times, an anesthetist. The most important aspect is that the entire dosage can be carried to the tumor in a single day and the treatment gets over in a few minutes.

At times, the tumors can be located in a very critical area, where the same dose can be fragmented into portions, ranging from 5 to 7, which can be given within 5 to 7 days. This technique is called stereotactic fractionated radiotherapy.

In addition to the tumors, arteriovenos malformations (AVM’s) can be treated and today the stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is the gold standard treatment for AVM of the brain.

Post-treatment follow-up is essential to monitor the response and also the regression. The growth of a tumor will stop immediately and gradually regress in three years depending upon the size. Hence, it is important to repeat the MRI every six months.

This process is claimed to be totally safe for pediatric oncology as well as for the elderly. It is prescribable for children above five years, for elderly people with co-morbidities who are not fit for open surgery, as well as patients with recurrent tumors after their primary surgery.

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