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New stereotactic radiosurgery system to treat complex brain tumors


Northwell Health's Departments of Radiation Medicine and Neurosurgery have installed the latest stereotactic radiosurgery system available, which precisely targets brain tumors and other brain conditions while sparing healthy tissue.

The Gamma Knife (GK) Icon is located at Northwell Health Cancer Institute's Center for Advanced Medicine (CFAM), the first and only facility on Long Island to offer this advanced treatment method. GK Icon offers enhanced flexibility and makes cranial stereotactic radiosurgery available for a broader range of conditions such as meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, metastatic tumors, arteriovenous malformations, pituitary tumors, trigeminal neuralgia and other conditions.

The Icon system integrates 3D imaging and software, allowing for continuous monitoring during treatment. This provides doctors with real-time information and control. In addition, the advanced motion management and imaging enables frameless (mask-based) treatments for many patients, which not only improves precision but provides more comfort during the procedure. This technology also allows for the precision of the Gamma Knife to be brought to bear on patients with large and complex tumors, which has not been possible with older versions of the GK.

"The GK Icon system focuses powerful doses of concentrated radiation that attack tumors and other abnormalities, shrinking them over time or stopping their growth altogether," said Michael Schulder, MD, vice chairman of neurosurgery at Northwell Health and director of the Brain Tumor Center of the Neuroscience Institute, and co-director of the Northwell Center for Stereotactic Radiosurgery. "This technology offers the precision of surgery without a scalpel and without the usual risks of surgery or an incision."

For the first time, it is now possible to perform GK treatment in one day without placing a stereotactic headframe on a patient, Dr. Schulder added.

The Gamma Knife Icon was purchased with a donation from Irwin Davis, a Bayside, Queens, resident who died in 2007 and donated his estate to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset for brain tumor research.

The GK Perfexion, the previous version GK technology, was installed in the Department of Radiation Medicine at the CFAM in 2014, adding to a longstanding program in stereotactic radiosurgery at Northwell Health. The GK Icon replaces the Perfexion and is a major technological upgrade.

"With the new gamma knife technology, the shape and dose of the radiation is optimized to focus on the exact point desired with little to virtually no damage to healthy brain tissue," said Anuj Goenka, MD, co-director of Northwell's brain tumor program, co-director of the Northwell Center for Stereotactic Radiosurgery and director of the affiliated proton therapy program in Somerset, NJ.

Drs. Schulder and Goenka lead a team of highly specialized neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, nurse practitioners and radiation physicists who work collaboratively to provide leading edge care and the best possible outcomes for patients.

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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 665 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 15,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

Betty Olt
[email protected]

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