Reno CyberKnife Offers Multidisciplinary Approach to Brain Tumor Treatment

In recognition of Brain Tumor Awareness Month, Reno CyberKnife announces the treatment of more than 300 brain tumor patients since opening in 2008 as a service of Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center. The center joins the efforts of community organizations and support groups to raise awareness of brain tumors and educate the public on symptoms and treatment options.

Brain tumors comprise nearly half of the cases treated at the center, accounting for 41 percent of all patient treatments. Reno CyberKnife works with hospital partner Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Sierra Neurosurgery to offer multidisciplinary care through Saint Mary’s Brain Tumor Center. Reno CyberKnife radiation oncologists work closely with neurosurgeons and other specialists to provide brain tumor patients with a comprehensive overview of treatment options. Specialists in both radiation oncology and neurosurgery evaluate each patient’s diagnostic images and medical history to provide guidance on the best course of treatment for their individual diagnosis.

“Reno CyberKnife is proud to be a partner in this collaborative approach to treating patients facing a brain tumor diagnosis,” said Dr. Katie Legarza, Reno CyberKnife co-medical director. “It is a rewarding opportunity to provide patients with the most thorough information available and to educate them on the treatment options available through our program, including CyberKnife®.”

Brain tumors are typically treated with surgery or conventional radiation therapy, which can be challenging due to the sensitive tissue surrounding the tumor. The hospital stay and general anesthesia required for surgery and the side effects of conventional radiation therapy can also be difficult for some patients to endure.

Reno CyberKnife treats brain tumors with an advanced procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery using CyberKnife technology. Though the name may invoke images of knives and scalpels, CyberKnife treats patients without incision or sedation. During treatment, high-dose radiation beams are delivered to the tumor with sub-millimeter accuracy. The CyberKnife is able to track the tumor in real time during treatment and adjust for patient movement, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

“The convenience of CyberKnife treatment also makes it an attractive option for patients,” Dr. Legarza said. “The nonsurgical treatment approach usually allows patients to return to their daily routines with few to no side effects.”

CyberKnife treatment could take up to five sessions depending on the individual diagnosis, but brain tumors are typically treated in one CyberKnife session lasting about 90 minutes.
In addition to treating brain tumors, Reno CyberKnife treats malignant and benign tumors in the spine, lung, liver, pancreas, kidney and eye. Brain and lung tumors comprise the majority of treatments at the center.

Reno CyberKnife is a service of Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center and is located at 645 North Arlington Ave. in Reno, Nev. For more information, call (775) 348-9900.