Excellent RESULTS, which are close to 95% efficacy in disease control one year after surgery. These are, today, the numbers of the Gamma Knife, a radiotherapy technique that allows you to attack brain metastases from the outside, without having to open the skull, using highly concentrated rays as a sort of scalpel. A technique born in the 1960s, which revolutionized the treatment of brain metastases and which continues to prove innovative, thanks to the constant refinement of imaging techniques and machinery. Tomorrow, September 17, the Gamma Knife will be at the center of a meeting that will bring together oncologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists and radiotherapists in Brescia, in the conference room of Poliambulanza, entitled “South European Gamma Knife Symposium: new applications and challenges”.
Brain metastases on the rise
“Brain metastases are cancer cells originating from a primary tumor born outside the nervous system, as in the case of lung, breast, kidney, colorectal and melanoma cancers, which form a secondary tumor within the brain and they affect between 20 and 40% of cancer patients, ”he explains Alberto Franzin, Head of the Functional Neurosurgery and Gamma Knife Unit in Poliambulanza, who will chair the meeting. A problem that has been steadily increasing in recent decades – underlines the expert – for the use of more precise diagnostic tools and for the improvement in the treatment of primary tumors, which have lengthened the average duration of survival after diagnosis. Today, in fact, about 3,500 patients are treated each year with the Gamma Knife, of which about 40% are patients with brain metastases.
Combined strategies to increase survival
“We obtain disease control in 80-95% of patients at one year – explains Franzin – by combining the technique with chemotherapy and the most innovative immunotherapy, indicated in some types of cancer. The results that we see through the continuous evolution of this radiosurgery system are increasingly exciting: changes in protocols in pharmacological treatments and the targeted use of Gamma Knife, which with the Icon model allows you to easily perform repeated fractional treatments, lead to increasingly important results. . The point on this topic is made right here in Brescia, in this congress that we can define as one of the most important of the year at an international level ”.
The meeting will be attended by many experts from all over Europe, from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa, in what seems destined to become a point of reference for the state of the art in this field. The Swedish ambassador SE Jan Björklund will also be present at the opening, in homage to the Swedish neurosurgery Lars Leksell creator of the Gamma Knife instrument and founder of the Elekta Company, current manufacturer of the instrument.