After Less Than One Year in Operation, Mercy Health's Gamma Knife Team Treats More Than 125 Patients

(CINCINNATI; January 13, 2014) – Mercy Health, which provides quality care with compassion in your neighborhood through its network of care, announces that the Gamma Knife® team at The Jewish Hospital – Mercy Health has treated more than 125 patients with a variety of brain tumors and other lesions of the brain after just nine months in operation. The Gamma Knife® team includes radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, physicists and nurse navigators who create the treatment plan and perform the procedure.

Together, they have treated:
• 93 patients with brain metastases, cancer that has spread to the brain from elsewhere in the body
• 11 with trigeminal neuralgia, a painful condition of the nerve responsible for most facial sensation that is sometimes called the “suicide disease” because of the excruciating pain it causes
• 10 patients with meningiomas, a series of tumors that arise from the meninges or membrous tissue that surrounds the central nervous system
• six with acoustic neuromas, tumors that grow on the nerve connecting the ear to the brain
• four with pituitary tumors known as adenomas
• two with the neurological disorder known as essential tremors
• two with glioblastomas, which are common, aggressive brain tumors

Some of these patients had previously undergone traditional brain surgery that failed to remove the patients’ tumors in their entirety.

Gamma Knife® surgery uses beams of radiation that precisely target and destroy tumors deep within the brain without incisions and without affecting healthy tissue. It can also treat other neurological conditions and vascular disorders. Gamma Knife® procedures last several minutes to several hours depending on the size of the area needing treatment and most patients are able to go home the same day.

“We knew that a Gamma Knife® in Cincinnati would have an immediate beneficial impact on the men and women suffering from a range of disorders, including tumors and lesions impacting the skull, sinuses, eyes and neck and the nerves and arteries that support them,” said Peter Fried, MD, radiation oncologist with OHC (Oncology Hematology Care) and Co-director of the Gamma Knife® program at The Jewish Hospital. “Our team is very proud to have been able to help more than 125 people be well in such a short span of time.”

"It’s very satisfying to know that we’re meeting a critical need and really helping people be well through our Gamma Knife® program at The Jewish Hospital,” said Jonathan Borden, MD, neurosurgeon with Riverhills Neuroscience, Co-director of the Gamma Knife® program and experienced Gamma Knife surgeon and author. “With the Gamma Knife, we can treat benign tumors, often near critical structures, neurologic conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia and vascular disorders such as brain arteriovenous malformations, dural fistulas and cavernous malformations."

Gamma Knife® treatment has little risk of potential morbidity, such as hemorrhage and infection, which are associated with conventional surgery. More than 30 years of clinical studies documented in more than 2,500 published medical papers reveal the effectiveness of Gamma Knife® surgery. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have Gamma Knife patients available for interview upon request.