Innovative treatments for the most challenging inner ear and skull base tumors
Stereotactic Radiation, also called radiosurgery, is a method of radiating tumors by using radiation from multiple different directions so that the radiation gets concentrated on the tumor and the surrounding brain receives less radiation.
Patients with small and medium sized tumors (less than 3 cm) in older patients (over 65) or any patient who has medical problems (such as heart disease, etc) that prevent undergoing surgery are the best candidates for radiation. Younger patients who desire, may also undergo stereotactic radiation. In general, radiosurgery is effective in stopping the growth of 95% of tumors.
The CyberKnife system is one of the most advanced forms of radiosurgery. It is a method of treating acoustic neuromas and other tumors using precisely targeted radiation. It uses a robotic arm to deliver the highly focused beam of radiation to the tumor with significantly less radiation to the surrounding normal brain. Cyberknife offers the advantage of easily performing fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy. This type of therapy delivers radiation treatment in multiple small doses. This offers a smaller chance of complications to nearby nerves and higher chances for preserving hearing. Dr. Carfrae is one of only a handful of neurotologists nationwide that offers radiosurgery for acoustic neuromas. The radiotherapy is done with a team of experts in radiation therapy and radiation physics.
Treatments are performed on an outpatient basis, with each treatment lasting between 60 to 90 minutes. The number of treatments vary depending on the tumor size, location and shape but typically only one to five daily sessions are required. During a CyberKnife treatment, the patients lie comfortably on the procedure table without anesthesia while the robotic arm moves, without touching them, to treat the tumor. The patients often recover immediately, given the low chance of complications and damage to healthy brain tissue.