New machine offers more precise radiation therapy

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A new, one-of-a-kind machine will offer cancer patients a better life after radiation therapy.

The Leksell Perfexion Gamma Knife delivered to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital Monday offers a more precise cancer treatment.

Delivered from Sweden, the 20-ton machine was lifted from a semitrailer by a crane and then pushed through Radiation Therapy's front doors.

Radiation Oncologist Dr. Kevin McMullen described traditional radiation therapy like shining a flashlight at the brain, but said this device shines hundreds of accurately pinpointed lasers, forming to tumors rooted deep in the brain.

"Patients with brain metastasis, if they are treated with whole brain radiation, can develop long-term problems with the speed in which they think, their short-term memory, their hormonal balances and other issues related to brain exposure," McMullen said. "We can substantially limit the amount of brain exposure by using this device to treat brain metastasis."

The Perfexion protects the rest of a patient's brain and helps decrease long-term side effects.

McMullen said the goal is to allow patients a chance to survive with a higher quality of life because they experienced less damage on their way to a cure.

There is already a list forming for use of this machine. The first treatments will begin in late August.

Print this article Back to Top