Survival rates increase for patients who are treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery, according to results of a study presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) meeting in Chicago.

The Gamma Knife is an instrument that allows physicians to perform radiosurgery, a non-invasive neurosurgical procedure that uses powerful doses of radiation to target and treat diseased brain tissue while leaving surrounding tissue intact and operate on brain lesions often considered inoperable.

The study, led by Douglas Einstein, MD, PhD, included 35 patients who underwent MR spectroscopy imaging to non-invasively identify regions of aggressive brain tumors gliobastoma multiforme (GBM), which were then targeted with high-dose radiation from a Gamma Knife. The treatment was then followed by standard conventional radiotherapy.

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The results revealed that patients’ survival rates increased by 3.7 months compared with patients who were treated with traditional conventional radiotherapy alone.

“The 4-month increase is quite significant as the median survival of patients treated with conventional radiotherapy along is only 1 year,” Dr Einstein pointed out. “Given the positive finding from this study, a multi-center Phase 3 randomized trail is being designed.”