Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Stereotactic radiosurgery, also called radiosurgery, is a type of external beam radiation therapy. In stereotactic radiosurgery, a machine sends a large radiation dose to a small treatment area.

Stereotactic radiosurgery is used most often to treat brain tumors and other head and neck cancers. It can also be used to treat Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and other conditions.

If you have stereotactic radiosurgery, you might receive the full radiation dose in one treatment, or your doctor might prescribe the same amount of radiation in several smaller doses.

Radiosurgery given in more than one dose is called fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery or fractionated radiosurgery. If you have fractionated radiosurgery, you will have several treatment sessions. The type of radiosurgery you have depends on your cancer type, your health and other factors.

If you have radiosurgery for a brain, head or neck tumor, you might wear a frame or mask to keep your head still during treatment. Imaging scans, such as MRI or CT scans, will help your radiation oncology team send radiation directly to the tumor.

Because radiosurgery is so precise, it focuses directly on tumor tissue, avoiding healthy cells nearby. Most radiosurgery treatments take a few minutes to an hour, although you might spend longer at the radiation therapy center.   

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute has the latest technology for stereotactic radiosurgery, the Novalis Tx radiosurgery system. This type of radiosurgery is extremely precise and can be more comfortable than other types of radiation therapy.

Learn more about Novalis Tx


Conditions Treated Using Stereotactic Radiosurgery