As a recognized leader in the diagnosis and treatment of brain and spine tumors, John Muir Health was the first medical center in the East Bay to offer stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).
John Muir Health is one of a few medical centers outside of an academic setting that offers SRS / SBRT.
Compared to traditional open surgery, our patients who undergo SRS/SBRT experience equal or superior success, with fewer complications and a faster recovery period. This virtually pain-free treatment makes it safer and quicker to treat certain types of brain and spine tumors. In most cases, our patients leave the hospital the same day.
The goal of SRS/SBRT is to shrink or control the growth of the tumor by eradicating the tumor cells or inhibiting the tumor's ability to grow. One significant advantage of this procedure is that we’re able to focus a high dose of radiation with extremely high precision, specifically to the tumor being treated. This maximizes the preservation of nearby healthy tissue, which is particularly important when dealing with the brain and the spine.
Your managing physician takes your clinical information to the tumor board, where our team of multi-disciplinary cancer medical experts reviews your case and makes treatment recommendations. The expert panel includes neurosurgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, neuroradiologists, and pathologists. Recognizing the need to treat the whole patient, the tumor board also incorporates ancillary professionals: neuropsychologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists, nursing staff, social workers and research professionals. The team then creates a customized treatment plan, unique to your needs. Working in this type of a collaborative environment brings the best minds to the table and assures you of getting the best treatment available.
If it’s been determined that SRS/SBRT is the best treatment for you, we will fully discuss the procedure with you and your family before hand to make sure you feel comfortable with the treatment and know exactly what to expect.
In preparation for treatment, we can employ some of the most sophisticated imaging techniques available, including:
These advanced imaging techniques are used to create a 3- or 4-dimensional model of the tumor and its surrounding, normal tissues. The treatment team uses this model to develop the optimal treatment plan for you.
Prior to the SRS/SBRT procedure, you will also be fit with a custom-made mask designed to keep your head still during the treatment, with as little discomfort as possible.
When you arrive for treatment, you will be placed on a robotic couch that allows us to adjust your positioning, as needed, throughout the procedure. We then feed your unique treatment plan into our linear accelerator. This is an image-guided x-ray machine that moves around you, generating a radiation beam that precisely matches the contours of your tumor. The entire treatment is completed within a matter of minutes.
Most patients are able to leave the hospital the same day. Depending on the specifics of your case, one to five treatments may be recommended over the course of several weeks. We also offer a comprehensive neurorehabilitation program to help expedite your recovery.
John Muir Health’s multi-disciplinary approach, in which a wide variety of our cancer experts collaborate on designing the optimal treatment plan for you, is both unique and highly effective at ensuring that you receive the highest quality of care and best possible outcome. At John Muir Health, we believe in treating the “whole” person, ensuring that you receive the comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, and holistic care that you deserve.
Another innovative facet of John Muir Health’s cancer program is that we provide you with a dedicated Nurse Navigator to serve as your advocate and single point of contact throughout your treatment and recovery. Your Nurse Navigator guides you and your family through the treatment process, coordinates your various follow-up appointments and steers you towards any resources you may need, including support groups, social workers and spiritual support.
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