Gamma Knife Marks 32 Years at UPMC

Pittsburgh, August 14, 2019 -- The UPMC Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery marked 32 years of treatment of patients with the Gamma Knife on August 14, 2019. In those 32 years, the Gamma Knife staff has treated over 16,000 patients, published hundreds of scientific articles in peer reviewed medical literature, received innumerable awards and established the center as a world-leader in Gamma Knife research and education. 

The Gamma Knife was brought to then-Presbyterian University Hospital in 1987 by L. Dade Lunsford, MD, the center’s long-time director. At the time, it was the first Gamma Knife installed in North America. Since then, the center has helped introduce and pioneer each succeeding generation of the unit, consulting closely with the Gamma Knife manufacturer, Elekta Instruments, to build new technologies for the future.

The Center for Image-Guide Neurosurgery is also a major teaching center for Gamma Knife radiosurgery—conducting multiple training courses per year—as neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists and medical physicists from around the world come here to train.

In marking the anniversary, Dr. Lunsford congratulated his staff, commenting that “it is a team effort of dedicated physician and nursing providers, the success of which 16,000 patients ago could hardly have been predicted. The vision of the leadership at that time allowed a relatively unknown technology to eventually change how we care for a wide spectrum of neurosurgical problems, greatly increasing the options that we can offer patients, while reducing the risk of collateral damage.”