Latest Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ Is Installed for Non-invasive Treatment of Brain Disorders

Tacoma Valley Radiation Oncology Centers, as part of South Sound Gamma Knife at St. Joseph, now offers the latest Gamma Knife® technology for even greater precision to reduce or eliminate tumors or lesions in the brain without traditional surgery. Gamma Knife is widely recognized as the gold standard for stereotactic radiosurgery in the brain. Perfexion™, the first full redesign of the Gamma Knife in 30 years, improves access to tumors at the base of the skull and offers single-session, leading-edge treatment for multiple metastatic tumors. Perfexion greatly reduces treatment times for improved patient comfort.
“Gamma Knife differs from conventional radiation therapy because patients receive highly targeted radiation delivered to a specific focal area of the brain,” said Radiation Oncologist Randy Sorum, MD, co-medical director for the program and a practicing physician at Tacoma Valley Radiation Oncology Centers.  “As a result, they do not experience side effects commonly associated with traditional radiation therapy.”
Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment benefits patients with malignant and benign brain tumors, vascular malformations, trigeminal neuralgia and essential tremor. Patients respond to the treatment in just a few weeks or sometimes over several months, depending on the condition treated.
Despite the name, Gamma Knife is actually a bladeless procedure. There is no incision in the skull so the risk for complications is minimal. Gamma Knife can be an option for many patients who were previously not candidates for traditional brain surgery due to advanced age, co-existing health problems or high-risk medical illness.
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Gamma Knife Perfexion focuses 192 converging beams of high-dose Cobalt60-generated photons on a computer-mapped target.  Sophisticated, three-dimensional treatment planning provides extreme precision and makes it possible to administer a high radiation dose to the lesion without damaging surrounding healthy tissue.
During Gamma Knife therapy, patients receive local anesthesia, remain awake during the procedure and experience little, if any, discomfort. Treatment generally requires just a single session and patients usually go home the same day. Most individuals resume normal activities within 48 hours.
“We are committed to using state-of-the-art technology to provide our patients with the best treatments that can maintain or improve their quality of life,” said Neurosurgeon Peter Shin, MD, co-medical director for South Sound Gamma Knife and a practicing physician at South Sound Neurosurgery. “Gamma Knife can be an effective and non-invasive treatment option for many patients.”
South Sound Gamma Knife is a partnership between Tacoma Valley Radiation Oncology Centers and St. Joseph Medical Center, part of Franciscan Health System. The experienced team of neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists at South Sound Gamma Knife has performed more than 440 procedures since opening in late 2005.
Gamma Knife therapy is a benefit of most medical insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. For more information call 253-284-2438 or visit
About Tacoma Valley Radiation Oncology Centers
Tacoma Valley Radiation Oncology Centers is an independent group of board-certified radiation oncologists providing expert, compassionate cancer care throughout the South Puget Sound region for more than 30 years. Initially formed in 1979 as Tacoma Radiation Center, today the Centers offer five locations for patient convenience:  Jackson Hall Medical Building and St. Joseph Medical Pavilion in Tacoma, the Dr. Richard C. Ostensen Cancer Center on the Good Samaritan campus in Puyallup, in affiliation with Capital Radiation Therapy in Olympia, and in the new Jane Thompson Russell Cancer Care Center on the St. Anthony Hospital campus in Gig Harbor. Tacoma Valley Radiation Oncology Centers is also a founding member/owner of the South Sound Prostate & Brachytherapy Institute, LLC. For more information about Tacoma Valley Radiation Oncology Centers, visit