Penn Gamma Knife Center at Pennsylvania Hospital
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Q&A Sessions: Hemangioblastoma

John Y.K. Lee, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, is the Director of the Penn Center for Cranial Nerve Disorders and a national leader in treating cranial nerve disorders.

Darshit asks:
I have been diagnosed with Solid Hemangioblastoma in subcortical left cerebellar hemisphere. The size of lesion measures 13x12x10 mm. Please inform is it curable? What are the risk factors? Thanks in advance.

Dr. Lee responds:
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery can be used to treat hemangioblastomas of this size successfully.

Laura asks:
My 17-year-old son has been diagnosed with a hemangioblastoma in the thoracic region of his spine. Strong family history of VHL. We are seeking out as much information as possible to determine our next step. We had an MRI after a diagnosis of secondary polycythemia. Any information you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Dr. Lee responds:
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is the best procedure for brain lesions. It cannot be used in the spine.

Chris asks:
Can the Gamma Knife be used on multiple hemangioblastomas?

Dr. Lee responds:
Definitely. Some of the most dramatic responses to Gamma Knife are seen with patients with hemangioblastoma. In some cases the tumor can almost completely disappear.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-789-PENN (7366) or request an appointment online.

Mopar asks:
I have a suspected hemangioblastoma in the cerebellar vermis. I am asymptomatic. I have followed this lesion for two and a half years. On post contrast images, the lesion has not increased in size but over the last year or so it has developed an associated cystic componet. The cyst has increased to approximately 1 cm. Do I sound like a good candidate for Gamma Knife?

Dr. Lee responds:
Hemangioblastoma can be treated with Gamma Knife with sometimes dramatic benefits.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-789-PENN (7366) or request an appointment online.

Jeff asks:
Can this procedure be successful on someone who has just completed standard radiation treatments on glioblastoma cancer?

Dr. Lee responds:
In patients with glioblastoma, we currently reserve Gamma Knife radiosurgery for small volume recurrence after conventional radiation treatment.

If you have any additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 800-789-PENN. You can also request an appointment online.

DJL asks:
I have a recurrent glioblastoma. The tumor is in the right lobe of the cerebellum where I also have a developmental venous anomaly/venous angioma. I recently underwent surgery during which approxamitely 70 percent of the tumor was removed. The remaining tumor cells were not removed because the blood vessels that are feeding that area are also feeding healthy cells.

My medical team has suggested having the Gamma Knife procedure to target the remaining tumor cells. The tumor is located in a small and limited area.

I would like to know your opinion of the following:

  1. How many of your patients have developed necrosis following Gamma Knife radiosurgery? Is necrosis more likely since I already had the cycle or radiation with chemotherapy?
  2. Could the Gamma Knife help to occlude the veins of the angioma since part of them are feeding both the tumor and normal cells?

Dr. Lee responds:
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is useful as an adjunct to cranial surgery and traditional radiation treatment in the management of recurrent glioblastoma.

In response to your question about necrosis, in general, we follow established guidelines to maintain necrosis at a level less than 15-20 percent.

If you have any additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 800-789-PENN. You can also request an appointment online.

 


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Need an appointment? Request one online 24 hours/day, 7 days/week or call 800-789-PENN (7366) to speak to a referral counselor.


Gamma Knife and Leksell Gamma Knife are U.S. federally registered trademarks of Elekta Instrument S.A., Geneva, Switzerland. Photo credits: Susan Pardys, Elekta, Inc.

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