Breast cancer campaigner Kris Hallenga highlighted the importance of Gamma Knife treatment at a charity evening at QSRC in April. The Sun columnist and CoppaFeel charity founder described how she had almost 60 secondary brain tumours treated in three separate sessions at Queen Square. Brain and cancer charities were invited to the event to raise awareness of radiosurgery and the types of treatments carried out in the hospital.
Kris said: “It was a real honour to speak, educating cancer charities about Gamma Knife so that patients know this exists and is an option on the NHS for them too. Too often brains are fried with whole brain radiotherapy, which means all the bad bits as well as the good bits get blasted, leaving you with cognitive issues for the rest of your life. I said no to this and found myself at gamma knife. I made the right decision for me but I should have been given this option as a default. My beautiful brain was spared and my quality of life protected. And long long long may that continue.”
Lead neurosurgeon Neil Kitchen and Physicist Alex Dimitriadis also spoke, giving an insight into the science and history behind gamma knife. Attendees included oncology doctors, NHS England staff, charity workers, clinical nurse specialists and campaigners. They were able to have a hands-on look at the Gamma Knife, which was upgraded to the latest Icon model last summer, offering another big step forward in radiosurgery.
The new machine expands and improves the range of treatments on offer, allowing more patients to be treated with highly-precise radiotherapy. It also gives the option of treating in a thermoplastic masks as well as a metal frame, splitting treatment over a number of sessions, improved imaging technology and real-time monitoring of patient movement.
Mr Neil Kitchen (Clinical Lead) with Kris Hallenga and below images of the event.