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Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas

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About Radiosurgery 

Radiosurgery was developed in the 1950s to treat brain tumors. Today, new advancements allow physicians to treat patients with a variety of cancers and other conditions. Here are some of the diseases and conditions we treat at the Baylor Radiosurgery Center as well as some of the more frequently asked questions and a few short videos portraying the Cyberknife radiosurgical process.

Conditions Treated

Radiosurgery is used to treat: Acoustic Neuromas; Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs); and tumors of the spine, lung, liver, pancreas and other organs. Research is underway on radiosurgery use in: lung cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Other conditions treated include: meningiomas and skull-based tumors; metastatic brain tumors; pediatric tumors; pituitary tumors; primary brain tumors; spinal tumors; and trigeminal neuralgia.

Benefits of Radiosurgery

Because the radiation delivered by radiosurgery is so highly focused, tumors can be treated with minimal damage to surrounding normal tissue. This creates several advantages: no incision and no pain, treatment is done on an outpatient basis, usually no hair loss, usually no nausea or fatigue. Most patients can return to normal activities the next day. Radiosurgery can treat tumors that would be difficult or impossible to remove with surgery. Radiosurgery can treat tumors that are resistant to conventional treatments such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Radiosurgery is a possible option for patients unable to undergo conventional surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My doctor said that surgery would be too dangerous. Can I be treated with radiosurgery?
A: Radiosurgery is non-invasive and involves no incisions or general anesthesia. Many patients that cannot have surgery and many tumors that are inoperable can be effectively treated with radiosurgery. For example, unresectable tumors in the lung, liver and pancreas can be treated with radiosurgery.

Q: Can radiosurgery be effective for me even if I have already had radiotherapy and chemotherapy?
A: Because the doses of radiation that can be safely given with radiosurgery are so high, many tumors will respond to radiosurgery even if standard radiation therapy and chemotherapy cannot be used or has been disappointing.

Q:What kinds of brain tumors can be treated with radiosurgery?
A: A wide variety of brain tumors often respond to radiosurgery. The chances of control of metastatic tumors that have spread to the brain from other organs are good even with “radioresistant” tumors, and several tumors can often be treated during the same procedure. Radiosurgery is often part of the treatment plan for primary brain tumors such as astrocytomas and gliomas, and can provide long-lasting control of meningiomas and other tumors of the skull base. Pituitary tumors can respond well to radiosurgery, and acoustic neuromas can be effectively treated with radiosurgery alone.

Q: What kinds of tumors elsewhere in the body can be treated with radiosurgery?
A: In addition to treating tumors of the brain and spine, radiosurgery can treat difficult tumors of the lung, liver, adrenal gland, prostate and pancreas. Both primary and metastatic tumors throughout the body and brain can be treated with radiosurgery.

Q: What about tumors of the spine?
A: Radiosurgery can be used to treat metastatic or primary tumors of the spine and spinal cord.

Q: Can radiosurgery be used to treat conditions other than tumors?
A: Radiosurgery can be used effectively to treat vascular abnormalities called arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and to treat a type of facial pain called trigeminal neuralgia.

Cyberknife Treatment Overview

Spine Cyberknife

Brain Cyberknife

Prostate Cyberknife

Lung Cyberknife

Liver and Pancreas Cyberknife