Woman with headband smiling at doctor

The Gamma Knife Center of Oregon

2320.7 miles away
503-215-6800
Mon - Fri: 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

The Gamma Knife Center of Oregon

Mon - Fri: 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Gamma Knife is one of the most advanced radiosurgical tools available to treat a variety of brain lesions and disorders, including cancers of the brain. It is a service of Providence Brain and Spine Institute and Providence Cancer Institute.

An alternative to invasive surgery, Gamma Knife Perfexion used at the Gamma Knife Center of Oregon focuses 192 independent beams of radiation on a single, precisely targeted location. With pinpoint accuracy, Gamma Knife can destroy tumors with no incisions, and minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Gamma Knife is such an important and unique medical resource that Providence Health & Services offers shared access to neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists and neurotologists who are trained and credentialed in Gamma Knife procedures. Any physician may also refer patients to the center's own team of specialists.

Helping patients for more than 50 years, Gamma Knife remains the gold standard of stereotactic radiosurgery for malignant or benign brain lesions, brain tumors and other neurological conditions. Gamma Knife's precisely focused radiation targets abnormal tissue only, sparing healthy brain tissue.

Gamma Knife is used in the treatment of:

  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Brain tumors
  • Essential tremor
  • Meningioma
  • Fewer complications, with comparable and sometimes better outcomes than with conventional surgery
  • One of the most precise delivery of radiation therapy available today
  • A secure head frame for safety and accuracy within half a millimeter
  • No shaving, no incisions and minimal discomfort for the patient
  • Completion of the procedure in a single visit, with most patients able to resume normal activities by the following day
An alternate to invasive surgery

Visit the Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ website to see the stereotactic radiosurgery system in action.

To minimize discomfort, the patient is first given something to relax, and then a metal frame is fitted securely around the patient's head. Because the headframe is rigid and fixed in place with pins, the tumor or lesion can be targeted with exceptional precision using a CT or MRI scan. Three-dimensional planning software is then used to design a treatment that hits the exact shape of the tumor or lesion with an effective dosage of radiation.

The patient is secured in a head holding device on the Gamma Knife treatment table. When the Gamma Knife doors open, moving sectors inside the machine direct the 192 beams of radiation as planned by your physicians. The 192 beams of radiation converge on a single point with an accuracy of within 0.3 millimeters – about the width of a human hair – destroying abnormal tissue without significantly affecting surrounding healthy tissue.

After the procedure, the headframe is removed, and the patient usually can go home and resume normal activities the next day.

CyberKnife expands the number of procedures that can be done using one machine. But to offer a variety of stereotactic radiosurgical procedures in a single device, manufacturers have been forced to give up their ability to tailor a procedure to any one area of the body.

In short, all-in-one systems like Cyberknife sacrifice accuracy and efficiency for greater functionality. That may be good for a hospital’s bottom line, but, depending on the procedure, it may not be the best treatment for a patient.

Why? Because the movement of the robotic arm to compensate for patient movement during CyberKnife treatment makes the apparatus unwieldy for procedures that demand a high level of accuracy.

By immobilizing the patient in a lightweight head frame, Gamma Knife gets it right the first time. Gamma Knife is used exclusively for non-invasive brain surgery, focusing 192 beams of gamma radiation directly upon a tiny targeted area and thus sparing the healthy surrounding brain tissue.

Where the human brain is concerned, precision counts. For that reason alone, Gamma Knife remains the gold standard for intracranial sterotactic radiosurgery to treat benign and malignant brain lesions, vascular malformations, and functional conditions.

Gamma Knife is the only stereotactic radiosurgical system that a brain surgery patient needs.

Consider these fundamental differences between Gamma Knife and CyberKnife:

Gamma Knife 
CyberKnife
Treatment delivered during one session Single or multiple treatments, possibly over a period of days
Radiologic accuracy better than 0.3mm
1 mm accuracy; dose outside the target area is 2 to 6 times greater than with Gamma Knife
Rigid immobilization using a lightweight stereotactic head frame fixed to the outer skull
Non-rigid immobilization using a thermoplastic face mask that is shrink-wrapped to the table during treatment
Provides exact MR and CT correlation from planning to treatment delivery in 3D
Inherently less accurate since the positioning is optically guided, without a head-frame
Designed exclusively for non-invasive brain surgery with a 201-source cobalt unit
Uses a single-source linear accelerator not exclusive to brain surgery
Target confirmed 10 times per second
Target confirmed once every 10 seconds

When you first hear the words “it’s cancer,” the road ahead may seem overwhelming. But from that moment on, Providence Cancer Institute surrounds you with people to help you through the journey. Treating your cancer is not only about treating the disease; it is also about supporting you as a whole person – body, mind and spirit. Here are some of our key support services to help you get through your treatment and emerge as healthy as possible.

Expert care services
  • Oncology nurse navigators work directly with your oncologists, surgeons, and care team to help you better understand and follow your treatment plans. The compassionate guidance of nurse navigators has been shown to improve treatment outcomes for patients.
    Learn more about nurse navigators.
  • Oncology social workers are trained counselors who help patients and families cope with the emotional stresses and practical concerns associated with cancer. Providence cancer patients and their families can benefit from our social work services.
    Learn more about what an oncology social worker can do for you.
  • Oncology nutrition. Cancer and cancer treatments can affect the way your body tolerates certain foods and uses nutrients. Our registered dietitians specialize in cancer nutrition and are here to help.
    Learn more about oncology nutrition.
  • Integrative medicine offers an excellent complement to conventional medicine to help patients achieve optimal health. Programs and services include acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, naturopathy, therapeutic massage and more.
    Learn more about integrative medicine.
  • Palliative care is a type of health care that focuses on improving your physical, emotional and spiritual health while you receive cancer treatment giving special attention to relieving pain and other distressing symptoms.
    Learn more about palliative care.
  • Cancer rehabilitation combines evidence-based cancer rehabilitation practices with services to address side effects and symptoms. The result is our patients recover their energy, well-being and quality of life more completely and quickly.
    Learn more about cancer rehabilitation.
Support services

In addition to providing expert cancer care, Providence Cancer Institute provides an extra dimension of care through our many support services and cancer resources.

  • Support groups provide education and support for cancer patients and their loved ones. Support groups are led by our professional staff and are offered as a free service to any person with cancer in our community.
  • Peer support is offered by trained volunteers who provide one-on-one peer support for patients with cancer and/or their caregivers. It is an opportunity to talk about your fears or concerns with someone who comes from a place of understanding your journey.
    Learn more about support groups and peer support.
  • The Living Well Guide is designed to provide our patients with one reference for all contact numbers, support services and self-care information.
  • The Living Well Through Cancer Treatment and Beyond Video Series will give you information, support and hope. Each video features patients who share their stories and experiences with helpful advice from cancer care experts.
    Learn more about Living Well Guide & video series.
  • Both the Living Well Guide and the video series are available in several languages.
Additional resources
  • Childcare
  • Financial resources
  • Guest housing
  • Lending libraries
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Transportation resources
  • Wellness classes
  • Screening and prevention

Learn more about Support Services & Resources