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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Treats 10,000th Patient with Leksell Gamma Knife Radiosurgery System
Date:12/22/2009

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- On the morning of December 17, 2009, UPMC physicians used Gamma Knife® surgery to treat the center's 10,000th patient, an 81-year-old male with a tumor deep in his brainstem, a site where traditional surgery would have been impossible. Gamma Knife surgery is performed using Elekta's Leksell Gamma Knife system, which directs up to 201 pencil-thin beams of therapeutic radiation precisely on brain tumors and other targets in the head.

The 10,000th patient came to UPMC with worsening balance problems. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of his brain revealed the small lesion, known as a metastasis -- a secondary tumor whose origin was a primary tumor located somewhere else in his body. The site of this patient's primary lesion was unclear, as are approximately 30 percent of cancers that go to the brain, said L. Dade Lunsford, M.D., Lars Leksell Professor and Distinguished Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and co-director, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery, UPMC.

"Because the patient had no known primary tumor, we performed a minimally invasive biopsy of the brain tumor during a procedure that began at 6:30 a.m. We confirmed that the lesi
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SOURCE Elekta
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