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Physicians See New Benefits, Treatment Opportunities for Brain Cancer with Elekta's Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion

ATLANTA, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The refinements in Elekta's Gamma Knife® surgery technology that created the fifth generation Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ are radically changing the approach to treating brain metastases and other brain disorders. With Perfexion, physicians are applying therapy to multiple metastases (mets) in a single session, treating more non-malignant targets located in critical areas and planning increasingly tailored plans to meet individual patient needs. The result has been an upsurge in Perfexion sales and upgrades from the previous model Leksell Gamma Knife® 4C in North America.

Elekta recently announced its fourth quarter orders for Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion, including Methodist Hospital (San Antonio), Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (Houston), New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Swedish Cancer Institute (Seattle).

"Since the introduction of Perfexion, 40 percent of Gamma Knife systems in North America are, or will soon be, Perfexion systems," says Thomas McKay, Senior Marketing Manager for Elekta Neuroscience. "The benchmark upon which all other radiosurgery systems are measured, the capabilities of Perfexion continue to evolve, fusing the skills of the clinician with the science of radiosurgery."

Gamma Knife Perfexion surgery faster, more efficient, customizable

This year, more than 1.5 million people in the United States will develop some form of cancer. Of those, it is estimated about 30 percent will develop brain metastases.(1) A 2009 study shows that patients who received a combined therapy of stereotactic radiosurgery and Whole Brain Radiation Therapy to treat one to three brain mets had more than two times the risk of developing learning and memory problems than those treated with stereotactic radiosurgery alone.(2) With respect to accuracy, dose conformity and patient comfort, Elekta introduced a number of innovations that extend the capabilities of Perfexion—particularly for patients with multiple brain metastases.

Recently, Elekta added the ability to non-invasively treat brain targets over multiple sessions using Perfexion. The Extend program enables clinicians to treat—over two to five radiosurgery sessions—patients with larger tumors or lesions close to critical structures located in the brain, skull base and in other head/neck regions. Extend non-invasively immobilizes the patient's head, making hypofractionated Gamma Knife surgery practical for these cases.

The University of Virginia (UVA) was the first U.S. center to acquire Extend. "We wanted to expand the versatility of Perfexion to allow multi-session radiosurgery," says Jason Sheehan, M.D., Ph.D., and co-director of UVA's Gamma Knife Center. "Extend enabled us to treat lesions immediately adjacent to critical structures, such as the optic apparatus, in addition to targets too large for single session radiosurgery. It also created the potential to treat brain metastases, which in many cases may not require the precision provided by a very rigid frame."

New GammaPlan® software reinforces the ability of the Perfexion system to provide an individualized treatment. In brain metastases cases, for example, clinicians can design a therapy that accounts for the patient's number, size and location of mets and fine-tune the dose for optimal tumor targeting and avoidance of normal tissues. Planning time has been reduced to enable plan development in less than an hour, while the median reduction in setup time has been reduced by 53 minutes per patient. (3)

The advantages of Perfexion were widely reported at the Leksell Gamma Knife Society meeting in Athens, Greece. Interviews and results of some of the clinical findings are available online at

(1)  American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2010. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2010.

(2) Chang, E. L. et al. Neurocognition in patients with brain metastases treated with radiosurgery or radiosurgery plus whole-brain irradiation: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncology. 10, 1037–1044; 2009.

(3) Niranjan, et al. Efficiency and Dose Planning Comparison Between the Perfexion and 4C Leksell Gamma Knife Units. Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. 87, 191-198; 2009.

About Elekta

Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy and radiosurgery, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care.

Stretching the boundaries of science and technology, providing intelligent and resource-efficient solutions that offer confidence to both healthcare providers and patients, Elekta aims to improve, prolong and even save patient lives, making the future possible today.

Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 5,000 hospitals globally, and every day more than 100,000 patients receive diagnosis, treatment or follow-up with the help of a solution from the Elekta Group.

Elekta employs around 2,500 employees globally. The corporate headquarter is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb. For more information about Elekta, please visit

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