The radiation oncology team at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s Odette Cancer Centre Central Nervous System is the first in the country to use the Gamma Knife to target tumours that have spread to the brain.
Sunnybrook announced the milestone in cancer treatment in a release saying it is the first hospital in Canada to use the Gamma Knife Icon machine.
The Gamma Knife allows cancer patients whose tumours have metastasized to the brain to be treated with a mask instead of the usual head frame screwed into their head, according to a news release. They can then be treated with hundreds of radiation beams specifically targeting the brain tumours.
“I’m passionate about this work,” Odette’s Cancer Ablation Therapy program head Dr. Arjun Sahgal, wrote on the hospital's website. “For a long time, patients with brain tumours and metastases were largely considered at the end of life, and using the fanciest equipment known to man was thought to be unjustified."
Since the Gamma Knife Icon precisely targets the tumour, it spares patients from whole-brain radiation and the side effects.
Sunnybrook has over 200 scientists and clinician-scientists who conduct over $100 million in research each year. The hospital has three campuses with 1.2 million patient visits each year.