Radiation in neurosurgery is used to treat neurosurgical disorders in the brain and spine area. It is the best treatment for both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. The destruction of precisely particular areas of tissue using ionizing radiation rather than treating the region with the blade. It is usually used to treat several types of cancer and also it creates some side effects.
Radiation therapy usually involves a treatment of a very high dose of radiation in a focused location. During radiation theraphy, your medical expert uses radiation to damage the DNA of the tumor cell. Radiation is used to treat disorders such as deep brain tumors, pituitary tumors, arteriovenous malformations, and epilepsy.
Central Nervous System: The radiosurgery is done by an expert team of radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, and medical physics to operate and highly precise equipment including the Gamma knife unit, medical linear accelerators, and the cyberknife unit. The highly precise irradiation of targets within the spine and brain is planned using information obtained from medical images such as angiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography. Radiation in surgery is used to treat tumors ( acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, metastases, and germinomas), vascular lesions, and more.
Mechanism Of Action: The basic principle of radiosurgery is that of selective ionization of tissue, with the help of high-energy beams of radiation. Ionization is the process of the production of ions and free radicals that are harmful to cells. Because, it can cause irreparable damage to DNA, lipids, proteins, and lead to cell death. The radiation dose is measured in grays.
Risks: in most cases, patients tolerate radiation quite well. Hair loss in the scalp is very common, but it can become normal automatically within weeks. In some rare cases, the patient experience earache, nausea, scalp, and headache. To this extent, some patients may experience loss in vision, strength, and sensation.
Types Of Radiation Source
The selection of the radiation surgery type and the device will vary based on many factors including size, type, lesion, and location.
Gamma Knife: The gamma knife using gamma radiation is used to treat brain tumors. The device aims at gamma radiation through a specific point in the patient’s brain. Gamma knife therapy uses a dose of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors without affecting healthy brain tissue. It is mostly used to cure vascular malformation such as pain, arteriovenous malformation, and other functional problems.
Linear Accelerator-based Therapies: A linac produces X-rays from the impact of accelerated electrons striking a high target called tungsten. A linac generates X-rays of any energy. This therapy is commonly called X-ray therapy.
Proton Beam Therapy: Proton particles are used in radiosurgery in a procedure called proton beam therapy. Protons are extracted from proton donor materials by a medical cyclotron.
You need to undergo a lot of planning before taking the radiation treatment. These radiation treatment method demand a lot of imaging with CT, MRI , other methods so that your neurosurgeron will know exactly where your tumor is located and how large it is.