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Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) is a type of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) that can deliver higher doses of radiation in one single treatment session, with less exposure to surrounding healthy tissue, because of its precise accuracy. Treatment is delivered in one session compared to five to eight weeks with standard EBRT treatment. SRS is effective against small, well-defined tumors in the brain.

How It Works

SRS is a type of radiation therapy that combines extremely accurate image-guided tumor targeting with exact patient positioning. This allows higher doses of radiation to be delivered in fewer treatment sessions. SRS is used against tumors in the brain and spinal cord. If you receive SRS, you may be positioned in a head frame to minimize your movement and increase the accuracy of the targeting. The head frame provides accuracy of positioning within one millimeter. The goal is to deliver an effective dosage that is so precisely targeted that it only affects cancerous cells and leaves the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor untouched.

Treatment Process

The treatment begins with sophisticated 3D imaging – a CT, MRI or PET/CT scan – that provides the tumor’s precise location, size and shape. Your treatment team uses the imaging to create a computerized 3D treatment plan that determines dosage level and the positioning of the radiation beams. The team works closely with the neurosurgeon to place the head frame and accurately define the treatment area and target.

If you are a candidate for SRS, you will have just one to five treatment sessions rather than the standard five to eight weeks of traditional EBRT treatment. During the session, a physicist will create your treatment plan and aid in the setup of your treatment in the treatment room. The therapist will then control the radiation delivery from another room but you will be able to speak with the therapist throughout the session. He or she will also be able to see you through a special window. The SRS machines are very quiet and you will feel no pain during the session.

Benefits

  • Radiation therapy treatment that combines 3D imaging with multiple, highly-focused x-rays beamed at the tumor from different angles
  • Particularly effective for treating small, well-defined tumors in inoperable or surgically risky locations such as the brain and spine
  • Delivered in one sessions compared to typical five to eight weeks of treatment for standard EBRT

Types of Cancer Treated with SRS

Currently, SRS is being used at the Cancer Center to treat:

  • Brain Cancer

The Cancer Center operates in partnership with Upstate Cancer Center.