When we think of surgery, we think of an invasive or minimally invasive procedure that involves an incision through the skin.
But radiation oncology has its own form of surgery that doesn't involve incisions or pain: stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) or ablative radiotherapy (SABR).
SRS/SABR is noninvasive, and recovery time is short.
It combines medical imaging and computing with radiation oncology to produce the same results as traditional surgery without the risks.
How Does SRS/SABR Work to Treat Tumors?
SRS/SABR uses ionizing radiation instead of a scalpel or other surgical instruments to destroy, or ablate, cancer cells.
Ionizing radiation produces ions — electrically active atoms — that damage the cells of the tumor by altering their DNA.
This precisely directed radiation results in the biological inactivation of the tumor, not its removal. The tumor remains in place but no longer grows or causes illness.
Types of Stereotactic Radiosurgery Cancer Treatments
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is a leader in SRS/SABR.
Our oncologists have extensive skill using the following SRS/SABR methods:
- CyberKnife® M6™ with the InCise™ Multi-Leaf Collimator: The robotic CyberKnife M6 Series uses a lightweight linear accelerator and image guidance to deliver conformal ablative radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy. It treats tumors anywhere in the body, avoiding healthy tissue. And with the InCise™ multi-leaf collimator, we can target larger and irregularly shaped tumors once considered untreatable.
- Trilogy™: Trilogy, a treatment system using an advanced linear accelerator, allows us to target tumors using image-guided technology during treatment. The Trilogy machine rotates around you, delivering high doses of radiation directly to the tumor. This helps to spare healthy surrounding tissue.
- TrueBeam STx™: The TrueBeam system employs sophisticated imaging technology — called ExacTrac® — to capture images of your tumor. It then uses the images to confirm that the radiation beams are always targeting your tumor, even when it moves during breathing. TrueBeam is a good treatment option for hard-to-reach tumors.
- Gamma Knife® Radiosurgery: Gamma Knife® radiosurgery is an advanced tool for treating brain tumors. Precise and powerful, the Gamma Knife can destroy deep-seated brain tumors once considered inoperable. It may be an option for people for whom traditional surgery is too risky.
Contact Us About Radiosurgery at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
To learn more about SRS/SABR or other radiation oncology treatments at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, please call us at 412-647-2811.