Jan 24, 2019
On Target with Gamma Knife surgery
Modern oncology has become extremely effective at eradicating metastatic tumors throughout the body, with one exception: the brain. “The human body has a barrier between the brain and the body; it’s called the blood brain barrier,” says Richmond neurosurgeon Dr. K. Singh Sahni. This collection of tightly packed, specialized cells offers a natural defense mechanism against toxins. “But that same barrier applies when you’re trying to give some immunotherapies and most chemotherapies.” As a result, Sahni, the chairman of neuroscience and medical director of the Gamma Knife Center at HCA Johnston-Willis Hospital, has experienced an increase in patients, especially those presenting with metastatic brain cancer—cancer that initially arose in another part of the body. Now, he’s able to treat more patients than before using the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon, which the hospital purchased in January.