Barbara Neuroscience Institute, and Thomas Weisenburger, MD, FACR, radiation oncologist and medical director of the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.
The team decided that stereotactic radiosurgery would be the safest, most cost-effective, and also efficacious option. They also decided—given the close proximity of the tumor (most likely a trigeminal schwannoma) to the brainstem and cranial nerves— that fractionated rather than single dose treatment would be safest for the patient.
The patient came to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara five days a week for a total of 28 treatments, each 20 minutes in duration. Before each treatment, the patient was positioned and stereoscopic images taken with the Novalis ExacTrac 6-D stereo X-ray targeting system. ExacTrac utilizes a robotic couch that precisely positions the patient without requiring the use of a head ring to synchronize algorithms.
Treatment involved eight arcs, each lasting about one-third of a minute, making the total radiation exposure time about four minutes per visit. The total radiation dosage that the patient received was 50.4Gy, and the range of the high-energy beam was 6Mev.
The patient tolerated treatment very well, experiencing only mild fatigue, and continued to work full time throughout the course of treatment. His outcome was successful.
Radiation therapy for the treatment of schwannomas is successful in 95 percent of cases. Using the Novalis Tx radiosurgery system, patients benefit from the most minimally invasive and cost-effective treatment available. Novalis Tx offers a highly versatile platform for radio-guided imaging therapy and procedures, and has proven successful in treating tumors located in the brain with wide indication for tumors of the lung, liver, spine and kidney.
“We are able to treat patients with tumors considered inoperable right here in Santa Barbara rather than sending them to facilities in Los Angeles,” says Dr. Weisenburger. “Novalis Tx delivers precisely focused high-energy radiation to sensitive locations. The shortened treatment time possible with this system results in lower overall radiation exposure for the patient compared with traditional technology.”