Radiotherapy department

About the department:

The Radiotherapy department uses combined radiotherapy equipment of the highest grade: a Leksell Gamma Knife Icon – the only gamma knife in Bulgaria – and an Elekta Versa HD linear accelerator, made by a leading manufacturer of radiotherapy equipment at a European and global level.

The specialists in our department are the first in Bulgaria to propose a radiosurgery treatment (RS) on a world class level. Radiosurgery is a method of treatment in which selected areas of pathologically compromised tissue are destroyed with high precision using ionizing radiation.

Activities:

The Gamma knife is used to treat all types of tumors in the head area, with optimal results for tumors up to 1,5 cm in size. A high dose of radiation is concentrated in the area of the tumor tissue during one to five consecutive procedures. The operation is performed with extreme precision – within up to one tenth of a millimeter. The technology is best adapted to specialized RS treatment of the cerebrum and the meninges. RS delivers outstanding results with tumors located close to important cerebral centers. The method blocks the pathological tissue’s possibility for reproduction by damaging vital structures of the diseased cells. In this manner these cells progressively die out and the tumor shrinks and disappears, while being partially replaced by conjunctive tissue. The method is bloodless, does not involve a standard surgical intervention and allows the removal of benign and malignant brain tumors without any incisions or the necessity of suture; there is no need for bone removal, there is no damage to adjacent cerebral structures responsible for audition, eyesight, movement, breathing or cardiac activity; there is no need to anesthetize the patient.

RS is most often used for the treatment of single or multiple cerebral metastases (up to 10). Metastases of all types of malignant tumors can be treated. It is used to treat benign tumors of the meninges (meningomes) as well. The method also delivers outstanding results with arteriovenous malformations, cavernomas, acoustic neurinomas or schwannomas, trigeminal neuralgia and tumors of the pituitary gland.

Combining a Gamma knife with a linear accelerator of the latest generation allows, in addition to cerebral RS, to perform RS over the whole body, as well as to administer all types of conventional radiotherapy and combined radio-chemotherapy of tumors of the central nervous system (cerebrum and spinal cord), head and neck, lungs and mammary gland, tumor of the mediastinum, tumors of the liver and pancreas, abdominal tumors, bladder tumors, female genital tumors (cervix uteri, uterus, etc.), male genital tumors (prostate, testes, etc.), tumors of the rectum and anus, non-cancerous diseases with aggressive growth, etc.

Cerebral tumors with sizes above 3,0 cm contain areas with impaired nutrition, featuring “sleeping” cells which do not divide and are not sensitive to the radiation i.e. are inappropriate for radiosurgical treatment. This is the main reason why these tumors need to be removed by surgery or treated by a different radiotherapy method (conventional radiotherapy).

All types of treatment are performed at the hospital, where fast and productive communication between all the clinics is ensured, for the benefit of our patients.