• Bookmark this Page
  • Print this Page

Stereotactic Radiation

Stereotactic Radiation Treatment

The Stereotactic Radiation Center uses the Novalis system, a state-of-the-art radiation delivery technology used for those undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery or stereotactic radiotherapy.

What Is Stereotactic Radiation?

Stereotactic radiation therapy (SRS) is a non-invasive delivery of high doses of radiation therapy to a small target in a single (or up to five) treatments. Its exquisite precision allows for the protection of surrounding normal tissue. Although called radiosurgery, there is actually no incision and it is performed on an outpatient basis. SRS uses radiation to shrink or control the growth of a tumor by killing or halting the growth of tumor cells.

The Stereotactic Radiation Center at North Shore University Hospital 

Stereotactic radiation can be delivered using a number of different technologies. At North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, we use the Novalis® robotic technology, also referred to as “shaped beam surgery.” Novalis® continuously shapes the treatment beam to match the size and shape of a tumor from all angles. This allows for the best targeting of the tumor while protecting healthy tissue. Shaping the beam to the exact dimensions of the tumor is the latest and most technologically advanced approach for treatment with stereotactic radiosurgery.

The outpatient procedure is virtually painless, and the patient remains awake for the entire procedure. In most cases, patients undergo treatment in the morning and can return to their normal routine by the afternoon.

Definitions:

  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) is the non-invasive delivery of a precise high-energy radiation to a tumor or lesion of the brain or spine.
  • Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) involves the same type of radiation treatments as radiosurgery but is delivered to targets elsewhere within the body, such as the lung, liver, prostate or other sites.
  • Shaped Beam Surgery is the most advanced approach to SRS or SBRT available today. The Novalis® system continuously shapes the treatment beam to match the size and shape of a tumor from all angles, ensuring that the tumor receives the full prescription dose of radiation, while protecting healthy tissue.

Indications for Stereotactic Radiation Therapy

Who Is a Candidate?

One’s appropriateness for SRS/SBRT is determined by the radiation oncologist and the referring specialist on a case-by-case basis.

SRS is suitable for many neurological disorders. It can be used to treat intracranial tumors, both benign and malignant.

Intracranial/Brain Tumors

  • Brain metastases
  • Gliomas (astrocytomas/glioblastomas, oligodendrogliomas, ependymomas) that are residual or recurrent after prior therapies
  • Acoustic neuromas
  • Acoustic schwannomas
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Meningiomas
  • Chordomas and chondrosarcomas
  • Craniopharyngiomas

Non-Cancerous Conditions

  • Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
  • Cavernous malformations
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Intractable seizures
  • Parkinson’s disease

SBRT is used to treat extracranial lesions.

Extracranial Tumors (SBRT)

  • Spinal tumors
  • Early stage lung tumors
  • Liver metastases
  • Kidney
  • Prostate
  • Pancreatic tumors
  • Isolated metastatic lesions

Devising a Treatment Strategy

Before deciding to proceed with SRS/SBRT, all available treatment options are considered. The choice of treatment will depend upon the particular diagnosis, lesion size, its location, previous therapies, as well as the patient’s personal treatment preferences. SRS may be offered as a supplement to other therapies, such as surgery or a more protracted course of radiotherapy.

The radiosurgery team at North Shore University Hospital will also consult with your other physicians to determine if this is the right treatment for you. A multidisciplinary team comprising experts from radiation oncology and any of the fields of neurosurgery/surgery, oncology, radiology and neurology may ultimately be involved in this process.

The Process — Getting Started

  • Consultation with a radiation oncologist
  • Meeting and information session with radiation nurse
  • Scheduling of any required imaging prior to your SRS date

The Process — Getting Treated

  • Treatment may be in a single session or up to five sessions.
  • Immobilization devices may be used to maximize precision of treatment.
  • Real-time imaging is used to verify set-up accuracy and targeting and to correct for patient or organ motion.
  • Treatment times can vary but average approximately 30 minutes.

The Process — After Treatment

  • You will be discharged from the radiation oncology department the same day of treatment.
  • Treatment is generally well tolerated, and you should be able to resume normal activities immediately.A follow-up appointment with the radiation oncologist and your surgeon will be arranged a few weeks after treatment.