The first Leksell Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery procedure in a clinical setting was to treat a patient’s pituitary adenoma at Sophiahemmet Hospital in Stockholm in 1968. By 2018 — Gamma Knife® radiosurgery’s 50th year — 1.1 million people around the world have received the therapy. Today, 330 clinical Gamma Knife units across 54 countries treat a combined 80,000 new patients each year.It has proven to be a continuous innovation and the undisputable gold standard in intracranial radiosurgery. Both NHS England radiosurgery Supracentres provide SRS treatment using the Gamma Knife and 7 in 10 top neurosurgery centers in the U.S. choose Leksell Gamma Knife for brain SRS.
Professor Lars Leksell, who believed there must be a gentler, more targeted alternative to open surgery to treat many intracranial indications is the inventor of Leksell Gamma Knife. He worked tirelessly to develop a solution guided by his philosophy: “Tools used by the surgeon must be adapted to the task and where the human brain is concerned, they cannot be too refined.
Elekta President and CEO, Richard Hausmann, speaking of the late Prof. Leksell, “Prof. Lars Leksell would be enormously gratified that his invention has endured for so many decades, which is a testament not only to the power of his original Leksell Gamma Knife unit, but also to his commitment to continue building on, refining and innovating the Leksell Gamma Knife platform to improve patient care and outcomes,”
Dan Leksell reflects on the life and career of his father in an article which can be accessed here.
Iconic brain care
In this landmark year the Queen Square Radiosurgery Centre will be installing the latest generation of the Gamma Knife – the ICON. Reflecting the most impactful upgrade to Leksell Gamma Knife technology. Icon provides new clinical and operational capabilities, further expanding the use of Gamma Knife radiosurgery.
“The introduction of Icon was really a quantum leap for Gamma Knife technology,” says Hausmann. “Building on Gamma Knife precision and adding new technology such as integrated imaging and frameless alternative, Icon gives clinicians the option to perform single or fractionated frame-based or frameless treatments, allowing for more individualized delivery – without sacrificing precision and accuracy.
“As remarkable as Gamma Knife’s first 50 years has been,” Hausmann adds, “the next half-century has the potential to transcend anything we can presently conceive of for this modality, allowing far greater numbers of patients to have access to this gentle and clinically-proven treatment method.”