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Gamma Knife History

Swedish neurosurgeon Dr. Lars Leksell and a colleague, Börje Larsson, developed the first Gamma Knife model in 1968 during their search for a non-invasive modality to treat functional brain disorders. Subsequently, the Gamma Knife was proven to be beneficial in treating brain tumors and arteriovenous abnormalities. Continuing refinement through 1975 resulted in the forerunner of today’s Gamma Knife. In 1987, the Gamma Knife was introduced to the United States.

More than 80,000 patients worldwide are safely and effectively treated annually with the Gamma Knife for malignant and benign brain tumors including single and multiple metastases, vascular abnormalities and functional disorders. The Gamma Knife represents one of the most technologically advanced radiosurgical instruments in use today.

One of only two Gamma Knife facilities in the state, the Fort Sanders Regional Gamma Knife Center at Thompson Cancer Survival Center became the first hospital in the State of Tennessee to obtain the Gamma Knife Perfexion in December 2011. In 2021, the hospital announced the installation of the the Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™, the sixth generation of Elekta’s Gamma Knife radiosurgery technique, giving the Fort Sanders Regional Gamma Knife Center at Thompson Cancer Survival Center expanded options for treating benign and malignant brain tumors and other neurological disorders. Fort Sanders Regional is the first hospital in Tennessee and one of just 10 providers in the southeastern United States to offer Gamma Knife Icon for patients.