UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Stereotactic Therapies Program offers treatments to patients with a wide variety of cancers of the brain, central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. Some of the conditions that best respond to stereotactic therapies include:
- Brain tumors - Stereotactic therapies are useful to manage benign and malignant brain tumors, especially metastatic tumors originating elsewhere in the body that have migrated to the brain. Radiosurgery often can treat tumors located in areas of the brain so difficult to access that they may have been termed inoperable.
- Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) - AVMs are abnormal collections of blood vessels where arteries and veins are connecting directly, instead of through a network of capillaries. When located in the brain, these abnormalities can cause severe bleeding, headaches or seizures. While many of these lesions can be removed with a scalpel, radiosurgery is frequently a better treatment with less risk of neurologic injury.
- Trigeminal neuralgia - This nerve disorder causes disabling facial pain that feels like an electric shock. Gamma Knife surgery can create a lesion on the nerve, blocking its pain signals. Radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia is typically performed for older patients or for patients with recurrent pain after other operations.
- Acoustic neuromas - These noncancerous tumors, also called schwannomas, develop on the nerve that affects balance and hearing. Radiosurgery can effectively control the growth of these tumors with a lower risk of deafness or loss of facial movement, compared to conventional surgery.
- Pituitary tumors - Tumors of the pea-sized "master gland," which is located deep within the brain, can cause a variety of problems because the pituitary controls the thyroid, adrenal and reproductive glands. Gamma Knife surgery is effective at stopping the abnormal hormone secretion that can occur from these tumors.
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