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University of Virginia Acquires New Elekta Technology to Expand Patient Groups That Could Benefit From Gamma Knife Surgery

ATLANTA, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients with overly large benign skull base tumors, lesions too close to critical anatomy and those with multiple brain metastases are among those who will benefit first from a new "frameless" device for use with Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion systems. The Extend program will enable University of Virginia Health System (UVA) clinicians to non-invasively fix or immobilize the patient's head position over two to five radiosurgery sessions, making it more practical for these cases.

"Team members from both the neurosurgery and radiation oncology departments made the decision to acquire Extend," said Jason Sheehan, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in both departments at UVA and co-director of UVA's Gamma Knife Center. "We wanted to expand the versatility of the Perfexion system to allow multi-session radiosurgery. This will enable us to treat lesions immediately adjacent to critical structures, such as the optic apparatus, in addition to targets that are simply too large for single session radiosurgery. It also creates the potential to treat brain metastases, which in many cases might not require the precision provided by a very rigid frame."

"There's no question that Extend broadens the potential for Gamma Knife Perfexion," added James Larner, M.D., professor and chair, radiation oncology. "First, fractionating therapy under certain circumstances -- cases in which a small tumor abuts a critical structure, for example -- provides a greater anti-tumor effect for a given level of normal tissue toxicity. Second, Extend is a non-invasive fixation alternative for Gamma Knife."

UVA is among the first U.S. centers to acquire Extend.

The key components of Extend are patient-friendly fixation devices, such as a vacuum assisted bite block and head support with vacuum pillow. Accurate repeat fixation is ensured with a one-time use of a CT box to obtain precise stereotactic reference points, followed by repeat checks using reposition check instruments for each Gamma Knife session.

Elekta will deliver Extend to UVA in mid-December and Dr. Sheehan anticipates treating their first patients in January 2010.

UVA acquired Leksell Gamma Knife® in 1989. In 2007, it was the first U.S. medical center to install Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion, the most advanced radiosurgery solution available. UVA has performed Gamma Knife surgery on about 7,000 patients.

Editor's note: Video of Extend for Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion is available on YouTube:

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

SOURCE Elekta, Inc.

SOURCE Elekta, Inc.
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