My Grandson, 15, has a tumor on his brainstem.

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My Grandson, 15, has a tumor on his brainstem.

Question from Don:

My Grandson, 15, has a tumor on his brainstem. It has remained dormant since its discovery 9 years ago. It has just started growing again, and his parents are considering "Proton B" as a means of removing the tumor. Does the "Gamma Knife" offer a better solution?

Dear Don,

Your question is a good one. Brainstem tumors are often impossible to completely resect. As such, radiosurgical techniques like Gamma Knife surgery or proton beam treatment can be utilized to inactivate the tumor cells. Depending upon the tumor type, these two radiosurgical techniques can be quite effective. At our center, the Gamma Knife has proven quite effective for treating many types of slow growing tumors of the brainstem in pediatric patients. We have recently published our results in the December issue of the journal NEUROSURGERY. In terms of advantages of one device over another, I would say that it matters less about the device and more about the experience of the team doing the treatment. Both proton beam and Gamma Knife are focused, high energy radiation tools that have a rapid fall-off.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at my office for a consultation. I can be reached at 434-924-8129 or toll free at 866-244-4040. I wish the very best for your grandson.

Sincerely,
Jason Sheehan