The numbers don’t lie—the majority of neurosurgeons in the United States continue to use a stereotactic frame when performing radiosurgery. The reason: It is perceived as safer and more effective than frameless radiosurgery.

But a new set of numbers—the result of data collected at the recent International Conference of the Novalis Circle—has revealed another truth. Frameless radiosurgery is an effective way to treat the most sensitive regions of the brain.

Surbhi Jain, M.D., of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., began treating patients framelessly in January 2008 using the Novalis Tx radiosurgery platform. In her recent, independent study, she found that metastatic tumors could be controlled as effectively using the frameless approach as the more invasive head frame. The latter must be secured to the skull and removed between treatments.

Other surgeons, including Antonio De Salles, M.D., head of the Stereotactic Surgery Section at University of California – Los Angeles, and Joseph Chen, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles, have also embraced the frameless approach, now treating nearly all of their patients this way.

Chen, who was a co-investigator for a 2009 study about the efficacy of frameless image-guided radiosurgery, said, in a Novalis press release, that he likes the treatment flexibility that this approach gives him. “The ability to decouple phases of the treatment process, like imaging, treatment planning and dose delivery, is very beneficial to both patients and clinicians. Because preparation work can be done prior to the day of treatment, patients are able to receive treatment in a time-efficient manner, which allows us to increase the volume of patients we see,” he said.


(Source: Press Release)