Gamma Knife: cutting-edge technology for brain tumor treatment saves lives in Bulgaria
In 2021, the most advanced Gamma Knife in the Balkans and the only one in Bulgaria will start working in the Heart and Brain Hospital, Pleven. It is the first to enable the use of the well-known for decades in radiotherapy technique for non-invasive positioning and immobilization of patients with individually modellable pads and thermoplastic masks. The next-generation technology builds on the proven foundation of previous models and provides a number of new technological and clinical capabilities, the most significant of which is non-invasive immobilization as an alternative to the old invasive stereotactic framework without compromising unrivaled accuracy. The new Gamma Knife model enables fractionated radiosurgery, stereotactic image guidance and adaptation of the dosimetry plan to the current position, position monitoring and real-time irradiation control. Bulgaria not only now has the technical capability and a team of trained specialists to perform Gamma Knife radiosurgery, but our country has a top-of-the-range device, better than most that would treat Bulgarian patients abroad.
In January 2021, the team of the Radiotherapy Centre of “Heart and Brain”, Pleven – radiotherapists, medical physicists and radiotherapy laboratory technicians under the leadership of Dr. Rumen Lazarov, performed the first Gamma Knife radiosurgery in Bulgaria, in collaboration with the imaging, neurosurgery and neurology units of the hospital and in the presence of two world leading clinical specialists in the field (a physician and a medical physicist). In just over two years, nearly 400 patients have been treated with stereotactic robotic radiosurgery in Pleven, mainly with brain metastases (including multiple at the same time), benign tumours, some cases of primary malignant brain tumours, vascular malformations and functional conditions (trigeminal neuralgia). Radiosurgery is routinely administered both within a day and fractionated over several days. Compared to other radiosurgery systems, the Gamma Knife allows for a tenfold reduction in radiation dose to the body, allowing brain radiosurgery to be performed even in pregnant women.
The full text of the article is available here in Bulgarian.