IMAGE GUIDED SURGERY TECHNOLOGY
If your doctor recommends surgery to remove your brain tumor, they may use image guidance technologies like Curve™ and Kick® surgical navigation platforms from Brainlab.
Image guided surgery systems, also known as surgical navigation systems, are used to plan and perform surgery, such as tumor removal or brain biopsy, with great precision. These systems work much like a car’s GPS to help ensure, in real time, that the surgical instruments are where they were planned to be in relation to the patient’s anatomy.
Curve and Kick give your neurosurgeon access to the full benefits of Brainlab Elements surgical planning software. These include aiding clinicians to quickly, easily and securely access and enhance your medical image data for even more insight into your case and to help them achieve their desired surgical goals.
Visit What is Image Guided Surgery to learn more about how image guided surgery works.
ANATOMICAL AND BRAIN FUNCTION MAPPING
Be sure to ask your doctor about how any recommended treatment may affect your quality of life in the future, especially when it comes to your brain function. Also, don’t be afraid to ask what other clinical specialists were involved in coming up with your treatment plan, such as radiologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists.
Brain tumor surgery can be very complex when the tumor is located near critical areas that are responsible for sight, movement, speech, memory, etc. To preserve those functions as much as possible, a map of their positions, as well as the brain fibers that invisibly connect these areas, is often made using software.
Brainlab Elements planning software, like Fibertracking and Segmentation Cranial, offer surgeons more information on how to best navigate through the brain to get to the tumor during surgical navigation. Surgical navigation may help your doctor minimize your surgical risk, perform a minimally invasive procedure, and avoid critical brain structures.
Visit How does Image Guided Surgery Work to learn more navigation software.
INTEGRATED SURGERY AND RADIATION TREATMENT
Depending on your brain tumor case, your cancer team may recommend using more than one type of treatment. Today, more than half of all benign cranial tumors are only partially removed with surgery. This is called “subtotal resection” and is done because removing the last part of the tumor poses a high risk of damage to healthy brain tissue. The tumor that is left behind receives another, or adjuvant, treatment like radiation therapy, called stereotactic radiosurgery.
When the decision has been made to leave some tumor behind, you may want your doctor to consider Brainlab software, called Elements Adaptive Hybrid Surgery, which allows clinicians to carefully balance the benefits and risks of both surgery and radiosurgery. This technology helps your doctors plan both image guided surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery for a single brain tumor, as well as desired follow-up radiosurgery treatments.
Visit Combination Therapies for Brain Tumors to learn more about an adaptive hybrid treatment approach.
NON-INVASIVE, FRAMELESS RADIOSURGERY
Radiation therapy is a common brain cancer treatment prescribed by radiation oncologists. Your doctor may recommend stereotactic radiosurgery, which is considered standard of care for most small benign and metastatic brain tumors and is the typical treatment for other small brain tumors and other neurological disorders.
Brainlab offers several radiosurgery technologies which help to position patients very precisely and deliver a powerful radiation dose to a tumor while avoiding healthy surrounding tissue.
ExacTrac® Patient Positioning and Monitoring System offers a non-invasive, pain-free option to keep the patient still during treatment. The system uses a head-to-shoulder personalized facemask, instead of an invasive headframe that is attached to the skull. The system’s positioning and monitoring technology, which tracks any patient movement and helps ensure that the treatment dose is delivered as prescribed, helps ensure that the powerful radiosurgery dose goes exactly where it is supposed to be.
Visit Stereotactic Radiosurgery Technology and Techniques to learn more about non-invasive, painless radiation therapy for brain tumors.
SINGLE-SESSION BRAIN METASTASIS TREATMENT
It is estimated that 20-40% of all patients diagnosed with a primary cancer will develop a secondary cancer in the brain. Called brain metastases, they often occur as multiple tumors.
Brainlab is at the forefront of multiple metastases treatment with a very simple, effective and extremely powerful software to treat any number of brain metastases all at once: Elements Multiple Brain Mets SRS. Other treatment options offer radiosurgery for one metastasis at a time, so the time required to treat increases the more tumors are present. The software algorithms works to avoid healthy tissue and treatment can be repeated if the brain tumors return.
Ask your doctor about Brainlab technology for multiple brain metastases and check out Balancing Disease and Treatment of Brain Metastases in our Brainfood Blog.
ACCREDITED STEREOTACTIC RADIOSURGERY FACILITIES
It is important for you and your support system to understand the wide range of therapies available to you when fighting brain cancer. While this can be overwhelming, discussions with your cancer care team and primary care doctor can help you ask the right questions and determine the best and most informed decision for you.
Consider exploring facilities that are known as neuroscience centers of excellence. These facilities have a lot of experience and utilize a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care. You can and should ask how many patients per year the hospital treats with your type of tumor. In contrast, you should be cautious of centers that only treat brain tumors occasionally and/or in a non-multi-disciplinary way, since they may use general radiotherapy technology to deliver specialized treatments, such as stereotactic radiosurgery. You should search out and get recommendations for facilities that utilize dedicated radiosurgery tools and technologies.
As treatments get more and more complex and precise, radiosurgery programs need to maintain safety and efficiency. This is why Brainlab developed Novalis Certified™, the only accreditation program that is dedicated to stereotactic radiosurgery. During the on-site audit, a third-party organization ensures that the institution offers consistent, high quality radiosurgical treatments.
To find a Novalis Radiosurgery site in the United States, visit our facility locator. Once you have located a facility, you can ask them about Novalis Certified and how they are working to deliver stereotactic radiosurgery at the highest levels of efficiency and safety.