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Gamma Knife Technology Now Available at Cedars-Sinai

New Center Adds to Comprehensive Cancer Treatment Options

The latest Gamma Knife® technology will soon be available at Cedars-Sinai with the opening of the Gamma Knife Center at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. The expected "go live" date for patient treatment is Monday, November 27.

The Gamma Knife Center, physically located in the Mark Goodson Building at 444 So. San Vicente Blvd., is one of only a handful of facilities in the Los Angeles area to offer Gamma Knife surgery. The Gamma Knife is used to treat a range of lesions, tumors and conditions affecting the brain. The procedure is a non-invasive, non-surgical alternative to traditional treatments and is designed for brain lesions that are smaller than four centimeters. It uses up to 201 separate beams of radiation that converge at a single target point to remove a tumor or other abnormality without open surgery (craniotomy).

"Our Gamma Knife Center is very patient-focused. In addition to offering highly specialized treatment modalities, the center has large windows and a serene environment that will enhance patient comfort," said John S. Yu, M.D., neurosurgeon and the center's co-director with Behrooz Hakimian, M.D. "Our staff is well-trained to attend to patients' needs. Patients will arrive in the morning, receive their therapy and then go home, usually by early afternoon."

Other patient amenities include private treatment preparation rooms (see photo below) equipped with plasma screen televisions and DVD players. During the procedure, patients can listen to music through the iPod in the treatment room or bring in their own music CDs.

Although the first Gamma Knife was introduced in 1968, the technology and controlling software continue to grow in sophistication.

"The Gamma Knife delivers a full dose of radiation in one session. It is a fixed system that is extremely precise, which makes it an excellent choice for treating trigeminal neuralgias and other 'functional' abnormalities," said Keith L. Black, M.D., interim chair of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai and director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute.

The Center's team of experts, including the radiation oncologists and physicists, will work closely with the neurosurgeons to plan each patient's treatment. The Gamma Knife can be used to treat:


  • Benign brain tumors, including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas and pituitary adenomas;
  • Primary brain tumors, including hemangiomas, meningiomas, schwannomas, hemangioblastomas, and all forms of cancer that have spread to the brain;
  • Arteriovenous malformations;
  • Trigeminal neuralgia;
  • Thalamic pain syndrome, and
  • Pineal tumors

For more information, call (310) 423-4204.