Bringing New Meaning to “Inoperable”

For more than a decade, our physicians have been using radiosurgery to treat patients with a variety of cranial conditions. Today, the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon expands the capabilities of precise radiation by effectively targeting nearly any area of the brain, regardless of size or location. This technology uniquely engages Online Adaptive DoseControl™, a comprehensive concept, eliminating the need for frame-based immobilization by providing continuous quality control and real-time motion management throughout treatment, with 0.15mm accuracy. Six times better than industry standard. This accuracy ensures reduced chance of radiation exposure to surrounding tissue or nearby structures.

Gamma Knife Icon seamlessly combines its precise dose control with stereotactic Cone Beam CT technology and treatment planning software, to deliver the highest therapeutic dose to the affected tissue with maximum precision. This enables powerful treatment, designed to treat even the most hard-to-reach or inoperable tumors.

Powerful Benefits

  • Precise, targeted delivery of radiation beams. The most accurate functionalities on the market, ensuring reduced chance of radiation exposure to surrounding tissue or nearby structures.
  • Typically a single treatment, performed in an outpatient setting. Does not require lengthy hospital stays or interrupt ongoing chemotherapy. It also enables patients to come from any area and return home quickly.
  • May be used in hard-to-treat or inoperable cases. Particularly effective when tumors lie deep within the brain or in cases where illness or advanced age prevent surgery.
  • Positive patient experience. The procedure results in little to no patient discomfort, with most returning to normal activities within one day.
  • Highest success rate for cranial disorders. Proven to be over 90 percent successful, depending on the condition.
  • No cutting or incisions. Despite its name, there are no knives or opening of the brain.
The machine itself is almost silent and completely painless. Knowing I’ve received the best treatment possible gives me a sense of hope for the future.
Watch Eric Conquer Differently

Gamma Knife Icon-Credentialed Physicians

With more than a decade of radiosurgery experience, the highly trained physicians at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake are credentialed in the use of Gamma Knife Icon technology and help patients throughout the treatment lifecycle.

Refer a Patient

To speak directly with a Gamma Knife Icon physician, please contact us at 1 (800) 489-7800 or conquerdifferently@marybird.com

About Mary Bird Perkins — Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center

In the early 1990s, two community organizations dedicated to service and quality patient care came together to help cancer patients. It was then that Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, both specializing in different areas of cancer treatment, began discussing how combining their expertise and resources could offer the most effective, high quality care for cancer patients and their families, close to home. Today, this unique collaboration is known as Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center. As a premier destination for comprehensive cancer care in the Gulf South, our team members are committed to providing highly personalized care, supporting each patient’s individual cancer journey.

Eric’s Story

At 10-years-old, Louisiana native Eric Von Aspern was diagnosed for the first time with a brain tumor. Thirty years and four surgeries later, Eric found himself with continued issues stemming from the meningioma, a benign brain tumor, and the continuous damage it was causing to his vision.

As a video production manager and avid snowboarder, Eric relied on his vision for his profession and personal hobbies. While doctors were able to remove most of the tumor through surgery, a small amount still remained near the optic nerve.

Eric’s doctors recommended Gamma Knife Icon as an alternative solution that could pinpoint the affected brain tissue, accurately and precisely, while leaving the healthy tissue — and the optic nerve — untouched. Choosing Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center for the procedure enabled Eric to receive the most effective treatment in his hometown.

“They make you feel so welcome. The way the team worked together was beautiful,” he says.

His experience with the physicians, staff and technology exceeded his expectations. With the Gamma Knife Icon, Eric’s treatment was entirely frameless, replacing the traditional screwed-in-place frame with a warm, moldable mask uniquely customized to his head for stability throughout the procedure.

“The machine itself is almost silent, and the treatment only took 45 minutes. It was completely painless,” Eric explains.

Eric went to the Cancer Center on a Wednesday morning and was back to work by lunchtime.

While the treatment was simple and successful, the weight of what was on the line for Eric was extraordinary. Yet throughout his journey, he never lost hope that he would find an answer.

“I don’t have to worry about what’s going on with me medically anymore, thanks to this technology, I can just go live.”

Ana’s Story

Ana Kristof had experienced severe pain for more than 20 years of her life after being diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. Responsible for transferring sensations from the face to the brain, Ana’s trigeminal nerve was being compressed by an artery, leading to what many consider “the worst pain known to man.” The condition led to relentless electric shock-like feelings across her face that would come without warning, lasting for several seconds at a time.

After undergoing two brain surgeries, the pain had not subsided. As a self-proclaimed “prisoner in her own home,” the disorder stopped her from having the life she wanted, down to simple freedoms like cleaning the house or going to the grocery store.

For comfort, she looked to her son. Often putting his own life on hold to be her caretaker, he continuously provided the level of comfort she needed to continue her journey for a cure. Ana’s condition was so severe that some doctors feared there was nothing that could be done to fully resolve the pain.

Ana was on the verge of losing hope when her neurologist recommended Dr. Renee Levine, a radiation oncologist at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, a facility close to home and equipped with the Gamma Knife Icon.

“Dr. Levine is truly so empathetic and cares about her patients so much. When I was worried, she always reminded me that she was just a phone call away,” Ana says.

Dr. Levine took on Ana’s case, consulting with other doctors and presenting it at tumor conferences across the nation, to ensure the finest care was provided throughout the process.

With the help and support of Dr. Levine and the Cancer Center team, Ana successfully had treatment in October 2016. Unlike traditional surgery, Gamma Knife Icon doesn’t require cutting or incisions and the precise radiation ensures healthy brain tissue is unaffected by the treatment. Pain relief can occur immediately or over a period of weeks – even for more severe cases such as Ana’s.

Since the procedure, Ana’s life has been transformed. With the success of the Gamma Knife Icon treatment, Ana has achieved more than she ever thought possible. She enjoys time with her grandchildren and solo camping trips outdoors – pieces of her life that she never thought she could get back.

“It’s been like going from total darkness to light,” she shared. “I would tell anyone to try this treatment. Hope is out there. This has changed my life, and today I feel empowered.”