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Gamma Knife Cancer Treatments

The CIUSSS de l’Estrie - CHUS is the only institution in Quebec to have a gamma knife.

Our team of medical experts serves the entire population of Quebec. We are one of only three centres in Canada to offer gamma knife radiosurgery.

Gamma knife surgery is used to treat brain tumours and injuries by exposing them to highly focused radiation beams. This is a safe and effective method that is an alternative to traditionally invasive neurosurgery.

Contrary to general radiotherapy, gamma knife radiosurgery requires only a single dose of radiation. Depending on the disease being treated and the number of tumours, the treatment itself may last anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 to 3 hours.

Gamma knife treatment companion guide (in FRENCH)

Gamma knife advantages

Gamma knife radiosurgery:

  • helps to cure or control the progression of the disease
  • has few or no side effects
  • does not require an incision contrary to traditional surgery
  • involves neither general anesthesia nor convalescence
  • is much faster than conventional surgery
  • allows the patient to leave the hospital on the same day
  • is comfortable, safe, and precise

Diseases treated

  • Cerebral metastases | Most common malignant tumours in the brain
  • Meningiomas | Usually benign tumours arising from the meninges (membranes which protect the interior cranium)
  • Vestibular schwannomas | Benign tumours that develop in the cranial nerves and spinal nerve roots
  • Pituitary adenomas | Type of tumours that affect the pituitary gland located in the brain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia | Pain experienced in the trigeminal nerve (located in the cranium and responsible for facial sensitivity and chewing)
  • Arteriovenous malformations | Abnormal connections between the arteries and the veins

Note | Please note that other, rarer types of tumours may also be eligible for Gamma Knife treatment. Ask your family physician or medical expert for a referral if you wish to have an assessment.

Other treatments

Other types of treatment are also available. The team evaluates their use according to the type, stage, characteristics and status of the cancer, as well as the wishes of the patient. These treatments are hormonal therapy, stem cell transplant and apheresis and l’oncogenetics.