Innovative technology in radiotherapy has transformed the cancer treatment landscape in the last 20 years. We now have access to a wide range of radiotherapy tools, all of which can deliver focused, targeted, conformal treatment, personalised and shaped to individual tumours. In this article we look at the effectiveness of gamma knife radiosurgery.
Radiotherapy has, at times, been considered the ‘poor relation’ in cancer treatment. This is partly due to people’s perceptions of it as an old fashioned treatment that is not particularly effective. But, this could not be further from the truth. Radiation therapy leads to cancer cure in many patients (either alone or with other treatments). It also relieves symptoms or prolongs survival in more advanced cancers. There are proven roles for nearly all cancer types. Radiation therapy contributes to 40% of all cancer cures world-wide, as well as improving the quality of life for many others. This is important as people are living longer with cancer.
This research uses a type of radiotherapy, Gamma Knife, for glioblastoma. This is not usually used for this high grade tumour. Gamma Knife surgery is a computer-guided treatment that delivers highly focused radiation to tumours, and is done so painlessly.
The study shows that Gamma Knife is a feasible treatment for local control and survival outcomes. It concluded that a boost of Gamma Knife can increase progression free and overall survival in people with a GBM.
This being said, this was a single centre study. So whilst it is a promising start, needs further research done across several centres to show that it is an effective alternative.
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