Washington Hospital to be among first facilities in the world to offer the Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion

Fremont 16 January 2007Imagine brain surgery performed without making a single cut. That dream will soon be a reality as Washington Hospital becomes among the first facilities in the world, and the first community hospital in the United States, to offer the most advanced system ever created for non-invasive treatment of brain disorders. The Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion is a stereotactic radiosurgery treatment device that delivers doses of focused radiation to reach even the deepest brain tumours while sparing surrounding tissue.


To mark the opening of Washington Hospital's new Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute, the hospital is hosting the first annual Advances in Neurosciences Symposium on May 19, 2007. The programme will feature leading physician specialists from around the world who will discuss the Gamma Knife Perfexion and advances in brain tumour therapy, spine surgery and neurodegenerative disorders, and controversies in cerebrovascular disease.

Since the original technology was first used in 1965, nearly 500.000 Gamma Knife procedures have been performed worldwide with a 95 percent cure rate in certain indications. Among its many benefits, Gamma Knife radiosurgery is minimally invasive, so the risks of surgical complications are eliminated and patients experience virtually no discomfort. By performing these procedures on an outpatient basis, patients can return to their normal activities on the same day of treatment.

"The Perfexion will be the cornerstone of the new Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute and provides a potentially life-saving technology to patients in the surrounding communities, as well as referral patients from throughout the United States", stated Nancy Farber, chief executive officer of Washington Hospital Healthcare System. "The Gamma Knife programme will have experienced and skilled staff led by internationally known co-medical directors Sandeep Kunwar, M.D., and David Larson, M.D., Ph.D."

Dr. Kunwar, a board-certified neurosurgeon, has led a successful surgical practice specializing in Gamma Knife radiosurgery for approximately seven years. He has a world-class reputation for his extensive research in advancing approaches for minimal access surgery of the brain and spine. Dr. Kunwar holds memberships with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

"The Gamma Knife programme and the Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute add to Washington Hospital Healthcare System's already outstanding reputation for expert patient care", stated Dr. Kunwar. "The level of physician expertise assembled to run the programme and Institute is unprecedented for a community hospital."

Dr. Larson is a board-certified radiation oncologist who has specialized in the treatment of brain disorders for more than 20 years, and has more than 15 years of experience treating patients with the Gamma Knife. He is the former president of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society, the Leksell Gamma Knife Society and the Northern California Radiation Oncology Society, and has served as investigator on numerous brain tumour clinical trials.

The Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion is a new, highly advanced device that takes non-invasive brain surgery to the next level and provides a platform for the expansion of radiosurgery procedures in the brain, cervical spine and head and neck regions. With Perfexion, up to 40 percent more patients can benefit from Gamma Knife surgery compared to previous-generation technology. Designed from the ground up with patient comfort and patient and staff safety in mind, Perfexion further minimizes any unnecessary body radiation dose compared with competing technologies.

The Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion is expected to be delivered in April 2007 and will be an integral part of Washington Hospital's Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute. The Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute will offer a wide range of neuro-related programmes. The cornerstone of the institute will be the Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion. Other Institute programmes include a Stroke Programme, providing treatment for all aspects of stroke care; Brain Tumour Surgery for both benign and malignant tumours; and a Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery programme that specializes in reconstructive spine surgery. The new institute is named for Mr. Bell, who was diagnosed in November 2003 with a brain tumour, in recognition for his years of service as general counsel to Washington Hospital and for his significant impact on the local community.

Washington Hospital Healthcare System includes the 337-bed, acute-care general hospital; four clinics located in Fremont, Warm Springs, Newark and Union City; Washington Radiation Oncology Center; Washington Outpatient Surgery Center; Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center; Washington Outpatient Catheterization Laboratory; Washington Center for Joint Replacement; the Institute for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery; and Washington West, a complex with outpatient hospital services and administrative facilities.

Washington Hospital is the recipient of HealthGrades' 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, which places the Hospital among the top five percent in the United States for clinical excellence. HealthGrades is a nationwide health care ratings, information, and advisory services company and produces its ranking and ratings in a report released annually.

More information about the Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion is available in the VMW June 2006 article Elekta sets new standard in stereotactic radiosurgery by introducing Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion.

Leslie Versweyveld

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