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Surgeries without Scalpel: Gamma Knife at Radiological Center in Obninsk
February 10, 2018 20:53


“Gamma Clinic” Center for High-Precision Radiology has been opened in Russia’s main radiological institution - the A.F. Tsyba MRRC in Obninsk (Kaluga Region). The ceremony took place on February 1, on the eve of the International Cancer Day, and was attended by the President of the Academy of Sciences, Alexander Sergeyev.

The high-precision radiology center “Gamma Clinic” is a joint project of the public and private sector. It was implemented with the support of the Russian Health Ministry and investments from Russian company IPT Group.

The new clinic treats cancer patients with the help of new generation equipment - the Gamma Knife of the Swedish company Elekta. This device makes it possible to perform operations in a non-invasive manner, without any mechanical effect on the patients’ tissues and organs. Its main instrument is not a scalpel, but the radiation of 192 cobalt-60 sources, which is collected into energy beams in the affected area, thus destroying the DNA of the tumor cells. In this case, irradiation does not affect healthy cells and tissues of the patient.

Gamma Knife is used to combat both benign and malignant tumors, but at the initial stage, as a rule:

“Radiosurgery implies the impact on a small size tumor before it has produced any harsh symptoms that threaten the patient's life. The effect of treatment may vary - even a reduction in tumor size and the stop of further growth – that is already positive”, - explains Sergei Ilyalov, a neuro- and radiosurgical surgeon, chief physician at the Gamma Clinic Center.

If the stage of the disease is more dangerous, however, the doctors of the radiological center will choose another solution. Gamma Knife is not a panacea, but only one of the means to fight cancer. According to Andrei Kaprin, General Director of the National Medical Research Center for Radiology, today the center provides a whole complete set of devices and methods that is available in radiation therapy, and due to this versatility, it is possible to maneuver in terms of methods - regardless of the stage of the disease.

A huge advantage of the device installed in Obninsk is its availability: the operation will be financed by the state, and patients will be eligible to the procedure with the OMI policy. Previously, it was much more difficult to draw upon such a service - only five Gamma Knife systems worked in Russia: in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Khanty-Mansiysk (whereas there are 49 of them in Japan and 116 in the USA). Only two of them were in public medical centers, whereas the rest were accessible in private clinics only.

“This system involves solving a lot of tasks. Not only for doctors, but for radiologists and physicists as well. Of course, we are now lagging behind in the sphere of creating gamma knives, but it is important that we knowingly have competencies and there are schools, there is an understanding that we need to go fast along this path”, - the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Sergeev said.

At the campus of MRRC, there is domestic equipment already operating - for example, a proton accelerator for medical purposes in the Proton Therapy Center enables doctors to treat patients with brain cancer, as well as tumors of the lungs and mammary glands.




Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Cancer Obninsk Kaluga Region Radiology Russian Medicine 

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