Gamma Knife® Surgery Treatment of Hemangioblastoma

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Hemangioblastoma are rare tumors that occur in blood vessels of the brain and spinal cord. They may appear anywhere in the brain but are most often found in the cerebellum and the brainstem in the lower back section of the skull called the posterior cranial fossa. It is estimated that hemangioblastoma make up 8-12% of the tumors in this region but only 1-2.5% of all brain tumors.

Although hemangioblastoma are benign (noncancerous) tumors, if they are located adjacent to a vital structure they can pose a serious threat and be difficult to treat. They attach to the pia mater, the innermost layer of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (the meninges), deriving their blood supply from this source.

Hemangioblastoma are about twice as common in men as in women and are usually diagnosed between ages 20 and 40.

While the surgical treatment of hemangioblastoma is often total resection, Gamma Knife® stereotactic radiosurgery is becoming more widely used as it has been found to offer a reasonable rate of tumor control and preservation of neurologic function in patients.

With Gamma Knife® surgery, a patient can often:

  • Be treated in one session
  • Experience less damage to healthy cells and tissue
  • Enjoy faster recovery times
  • Gain better quality of life