Healthcare Industry News:  radiosurgery 

Devices Neurosurgery Oncology

 News Release - February 16, 2012

Radiosurgery Pioneer, University Hospital La Timone, Is World's First to Acquire Second Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion

French hospital on track in 2012 to mark 12,000th patient treated, sees dramatic increase in patients with brain metastases

MARSEILLES, France, Feb. 16, 2012 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- University Hospital La Timone is among the world's elite centers whose experience in Gamma Knife® radiosurgery spans decades and whose treated patient volume surpasses 10,000. This summer, La Timone (Marseilles, France), will celebrate its 20th year as a Leksell Gamma Knife user, continuing its progress toward 12,000 patients treated in the world's first facility to operate two of Elekta's most sophisticated radiosurgery platform, Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™.

On January 9, clinicians at La Timone treated the first patient on their second Perfexion system. The site of the world's first Perfexion in 2006, La Timone has been performing Gamma Knife surgery since 1992 and has operated four different versions of Gamma Knife, widely recognized as the gold standard for brain radiosurgery.

With its two Perfexion systems, La Timone will treat as many as 10 patients each day, toward a predicted total exceeding 1,200 patients in 2012, according to Jean Regis, M.D. La Timone neurosurgeon and Gamma Knife program director.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a gentler alternative to traditional brain surgery for illnesses such as metastatic disease, which is cancer that has travelled to the brain from elsewhere in the body. With pinpoint accuracy, the system delivers up to thousands of low-intensity radiation beams to one or more targets in a single session. Perfexion provides even greater speed and ease of use than previous models.

Perfexion streamlines radiosurgery

It was the Perfexion system's planning speed and ability to streamline radiosurgery – in addition to an ever-increasing workload – that convinced La Timone officials they needed to replace its Gamma Knife 4C with an additional Perfexion, Prof. Regis says.

"As our activities continued to increase we were working longer hours of operation and it was putting a burden on the team," Prof. Regis says. "With two Perfexion systems running, we end the day much earlier. In addition, the percentage of patients with brain metastases is increasing dramatically – more so than any other indication – and in this group the number of mets per patient also is increasing significantly."

Historically, La Timone, and many centers worldwide, used Gamma Knife to treat one to three metastases. However, as clinical studies continue to clarify the neurocognitive impact of traditional whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) for multiple metastases, Gamma Knife radiosurgery is gaining in use.*

"We are definitely getting more referrals," he notes. "In the medical community, the number of clinicians who systematically prescribe WBRT for single and multiple mets is decreasing. More patients and doctors are becoming aware of the toxicity of WBRT and are open to the potential of radiosurgery to avoid it."

Among La Timone's patients with multiple mets, the average number of lesions is now three. "Perfexion is the ideal platform to treat multiple metastases – we are much more at ease treating these patients than in the past," Prof. Regis adds.

In addition to metastases, University Hospital La Timone also has performed Gamma Knife radiosurgery over the years to treat a spectrum of benign and malignant vascular and functional disorders.

* Tsao MN, Rades D, Wirth A et al. Radiotherapeutic and surgical management for newly diagnosed brain metastasis(es): An American Society for Radiation Oncology evidence-based guideline. (in press) Practical Radiation Oncology (2012)

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, radiosurgery and brachytherapy, 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.

Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 6,000 hospitals worldwide. Elekta employs around 3,300 employees globally. The corporate headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker EKTAb. Website:

Source: Elekta

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