Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, uses high-energy beams (X-rays, gamma rays or protons) to kill tumor cells, and keep tumors from growing. Radiation can be targeted to reach the brain tumor without affecting other parts of the body, and may be used before, after, or instead of surgery, depending on each patient’s situation. Stereotactic radiosurgery is the use of radiation therapy using methods to manipulate and focus the beam to the precise shape of the tumor so that there is a minimal dose passing through healthy brain tissue. Usually, radiosurgery can be delivered in a single treatment or occasionally in up to five treatments, instead of the usual 20 to 26 treatments required for radiation therapy.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Tumors

Many brain tumors that were previously considered untreatable can now be treated quickly, effectively, and safely with radiosurgery. It’s often a successful treatment option for people who have brain tumors that are deep in the brain, are difficult to reach, or are inoperable. We can treat both primary and metastatic tumors, usually with a single, one-day treatment. Patients formerly thought to be terminal with inoperable tumors, can now be safely and effectively treated. Having this technique available often converts a situation with limited life expectancy to one of long-term survival.

Radiation oncologists at the Peak Brain & Pituitary Tumor Center at Houston Methodist Hospital use highly specialized stereotactic radiosurgery equipment to focus beams of radiation only where needed to destroy cancerous or noncancerous growths without damaging healthy brain tissue. These beams are formed to the complex, three-dimensional shape of each person’s tumor, which allows physicians to administer higher doses of radiation more precisely and safely than ever before. That makes this non-invasive, non-surgical treatment less toxic than previous radiation treatments for brain tumors.

Before treatment, three-dimensional MRI and CT scans are made to give physicians an accurate view of each patient’s internal anatomy and the shape and location of each tumor. Then, radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons, together with the patient, develop a personalized treatment plan.

Make an appointment: Call 713.441.8500 to schedule an appointment with a specialist at the Peak Center or complete an appointment request form online.

Stereotactic Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumors

If a brain tumor is located in an area that is especially sensitive to high doses of radiation, then the radiation dose may be lowered and delivered over several days or weeks. This is called stereotactic radiation therapy. It allows radiation oncologists to target tumor cells, while allowing the healthy cells that surround it to recover between treatments. As with stereotactic radiosurgery, your physician care team uses MRI and CT scans to view the tumor and to plan treatment.

Internal Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumors

Internal radiation therapy (sometimes called implant radiation therapy or brachytherapy) can also be used to treat brain tumors, although it is not often required. With internal radiation therapy, small “seeds” holding radioactive material are implanted into the brain to deliver radiation for a set amount of time. In most cases, the seeds don’t need to be removed after the radiation is complete.

Make an appointment: Call 713.441.8500 to schedule an appointment with a specialist at the Peak Center or complete an appointment request form online.  

How Can We Help?
Call us