Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a form of radiation therapy that focuses precise, high-energy X-rays on a small area of the body. Although it’s called radiosurgery, it’s not a surgical procedure in the traditional sense as there is no incision. As a radiation therapy treatment technique, SRS uses 3D imaging to pinpoint high doses of radiation to the intended area with minimal impact on the surrounding healthy tissue.
UF Health has earned a distinguished reputation in the field since William Friedman, MD, and Frank Bova, MD, helped establish the University of Florida’s radiosurgery program in 1988. Together, the two decided to embark on an arduous process of improving the linear accelerator option by improving accuracy and developing the first computerized dose planning system in the field. This pioneering led the UF team to design and develop the LINAC Scalpel, a precision radiosurgical instrument that delivers a high dose of radiation to intracranial targets. UF subsequently patented this approach and licensed it, over the years, to four companies. That led to hundreds of versions of the dose planning system around the world.
That was just an early glimpse of UF’s eventual foothold in the field. Since treating its first patient in 1988, UF has treated over 5,000 more. Our institution has authored over 175 publications and chapters, given dozens of national/international talks, and hosted hundreds of visitors wanting to learn about radiosurgery. Most importantly, the standards that UF has developed for accuracy, quality assurance, patient follow-up, dosing, etc. have become standards around the world. On a national level, we’ve also developed novel radiosurgery equipment/treatment paradigms that are used across the country.
Today, UF Health offers its patients the latest options in radiosurgery, providing an advanced approach to treatment and care of brain lesions.
Why is the Procedure Used?
This one-time outpatient radiosurgery treatment is sometimes an excellent alternative to conventional surgical procedures because it’s non-invasive, highly effective, has minimal risk and doesn’t require lengthy hospitalization.
How the Procedure is Performed
SRS, like other forms of radiation, works by damaging the DNA of the targeted cells. This leads to those cells losing the ability to reproduce, consequently causing them to die. For rapidly growing cells, like cancer, the effect is dramatic and early. For slowly growing cells, the effect is much more gradual and may or may not lead to shrinkage. The main goal is to prevent growth.
Why Choose UF Health?
Our patients who choose radiosurgery will benefit from the renowned expertise of UF’s Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Radiation Oncology. Our institution has been at the forefront of this technology, known for groundbreaking innovations that have now become global standards.