Radiation Oncology Services
Lifespan Cancer Institute

How Gamma Knife Works

Since the gamma knife’s introduction in 1949, Leksell has continuously improved its technology and expanded gamma knife application. The technology builds on experience from treating more than 700,000 patients and knowledge shared through 3,000 peer-reviewed papers.

Gamma knife treatment
The Gamma Knife Center at Rhode Island Hospital has been utilizing this lifesaving technology for more than 20 years, and has treated more than 3,300 patients during that time.

Perfexion has a radiological accuracy of less than half a millimeter, as it uses nearly 200 radiation beams from cobalt-60 sources that converge with high accuracy on a single target. Each of Perfexion’s beams is low-intensity and, therefore, does not affect the tissue through which it passes on its way to the target. The beams converge in an isocenter where the cumulative radiation intensity becomes extremely high and effective. Multiple lesions may be seamlessly treated during one session.

The system identifies the treatment area using the latest in digital imaging. Perfexion integrates imaging from CT scan, MRI and other modalities with the team’s treatment plan, allowing a flow of information that ensures the optimal dose of radiation.

The gamma knife is a safe alternative to whole brain radiation treatment for multiple brain metastases.

Gamma Knife Advances

Perfexion, the latest generation of gamma knife technology, provides critical improvements to previous systems, including:

  • Treatment of previously inaccessible areas
  • Easier, quicker planning for treatment of a single lesion or multiple lesions
  • Significantly reduced treatment time compared to previous systems
  • An improved design that enables improved dose sculpting and dynamic shaping, resulting in further protection of nearby tissue

More about Gamma Knife at the Lifespan Cancer Institute