Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Research

Since its first use in 1968, more than 850,000 patients have been treated with Gamma Knife Radiosurgery. Approximately 70,000 people each year have this procedure. And the reason why is the safety and superb outcomes.

More than 2,500 studies have been published in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals documenting the effectiveness of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery. These studies provide evidence that Gamma Knife treatment is often the most effective treatment with the least side effects for many complex brain conditions, including brain metastases, arteriovenous malformations, trigeminal neuralgia, meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, gliomas and pituitary tumors.

Below are citations and links to some of the most well-known studies, broken down by condition

If you are interested in learning more about Gamma Knife treatment or scheduling a Second Opinion appointment with one of our experienced neurosurgeons, you can request a phone consultation by submitting the form to the right.


Trigeminal Neuralgia 

Gamma knife surgery for trigeminal neuralgia stops pain in 85-90 percent of patients, most within 10 days. If you experiencing the debilitating pain of trigeminal neuralgia, you should consider Gamma Knife surgery as a treatment option. The most relevant research studies include:

Verheul, J.B., Hanssens, P.E., Lie, S.T., Leenstra, S., Piersma, H., Beute, G.N. Gamma Knife surgery for trigeminal neuralgia: a review of 450 consecutive cases. Journal of Neurosurgery. December 2010.

Sheehan, J., Pan, H.C., Stroila, M., Steiner, L. Gamma knife surgery for trigeminal neuralgia: outcomes and prognostic factors. Journal of Neurosurgery. March 2005.

Elaimy, A.L., Lamm, A.F., Demakas, J.J.,  Mackay, A.R., Lamoreaux, W.T., Fairbanks, R.K., Pfeffer, R.D., Cooke, B.S., Peressini, B.J.,  and Lee, C.M. Gamma knife radiosurgery for typical trigeminal neuralgia: An institutional review of 108 patients. Surgical Neurology International. July 2013.

Tuleasca, C., Carron, R., Ressequier,N., Donnet, A., Roussel, P., Gaudart, J., Levivier, M., and Regis, J. Patterns of pain-free response in 497 cases of classic trigeminal neuralgia treated with Gamma Knife surgery and followed up for least 1 year. Journal of Neurosurgery. December 2012.


Acoustic Neuroma


Various studies have found that tumor control rates for acoustic neuromas with Gamma Knife surgery are 92 to 97 percent after five years. The majority of acoustic tumors up to 3 centimeters qualify for Gamma Knife treatment, so talk with your physician about whether you’re a candidate for this treatment option. The most relevant research studies include:

Yamakami, I., Uchino, Y., Kobayashi, E., Yamaura, A. Conservative management, gamma-knife radiosurgery, and microsurgery for acoustic neurinomas: a systematic review of outcome and risk of three therapeutic options. Neurological Research. October 2003.

Rowe, J.G., Radatz, M.W.R., Walton, L., Hampshire, A., Seaman, S., Kemeny, A.A. Gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery for unilateral acoustic neuromas. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. November 2003.

Hasegawa, Toshinori M.D.; Fujitani, Shigeru M.D.; Katsumata, Shun M.D.; Kida, Yoshihisa M.D.; Yoshimoto, Masayuki M.D.; Koike, Joji M.D. Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Vestibular Schwannomas: Analysis of 317 Patients Followed More Than 5 Years. Neurosurgery. August 2005.

Myrseth, E., Møller, P., Pedersen, P.H., Vassbotn, F.S., Wentzel-Larsen, T., Lund-Johansen, M. Vestibular schwannomas: clinical results and quality of life after microsurgery or gamma knife radiosurgery. Neurosurgery. May 2005.

Kang-Min Kim, M.D., Chul-Kee Park, M.D., Hyun-Tai Chung, Ph.D., Sun Ha Paek, M.D., Hee-Won Jung, M.D., and Dong Gyu Kim, M.D. Long-term Outcomes of Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery of Vestibular Schwannomas. Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society. October 2007.



Gamma Knife surgery successfully treats 93 percent of meningioma cases and is particularly useful for meningiomas that involve vital structures in the brain. The majority of meningiomas 3.5 centimeters and smaller can be treated with Gamma Knife, so you should consult with a Gamma Knife neurosurgeon about whether you’re a candidate for this treatment option. The most relevant research studies include:

Kondziolka, D., Patel, A.D., Kano, H., Flickinger, J.C., Lunsford, L.D. Long-term Outcomes After Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Meningiomas. American Journal of Clinical Oncology. April 2014.

Zada, G., Pagnini, P.G., Yu, C., Erickson, K.T., Hirschbein, J., Zelman, V., Apuzzo, M.L. Long-term outcomes and patterns of tumor progression after gamma knife radiosurgery for benign meningiomas. Neurosurgery. August 2010.

Starke, Robert M., Nguyen, James H., Reames, David L., Rainey, Jessica, Sheehan, Jason P. Gamma knife radiosurgery of meningiomas involving the foramen magnum. Journal of Craniovertebral Junction & Spine. January-June 2010.

Chang Ki Jang, Hyu Ho Jung, Jong Hee Chang, Jin Woo Chang, Yong Gou Park, and Won Seok Chang. Long-Term Results of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Intracranial Meningioma. Brain Tumor Research and Treatment. October 2015.


Metastatic Brain Tumors

Gamma Knife surgery is one of the most effective treatments for metastatic brain tumors, providing between 84 and 97 percent local tumor control. Single or multiple tumors that are 3 to 4 centimeters or smaller can be treated with Gamma Knife. Although LINAC radiosurgery is often presented as a comparable substitute for Gamma Knife and have been in existence for about the same length of time, thousands of research studies have shown the outstanding outcomes achieved with Gamma Knife. If you or a loved one has metastatic brain cancer, you should seek a second opinion from a neurosurgeon trained in Gamma Knife Radiosurgery. The most relevant research studies include:

Lippitz, Bodo; Lindquist, Christer; Paddick, Ian; Peterson, David; O’Neill, Kevin; Beaney, Ronald. Stereotactic radiosurgery in the treatment of brain metastases: The current evidence. Cancer Treatment Reviews. February 2014.

Matsunaga, S., Shuto, T., Kawahara, N., Suenaga, J., Inomori, S., Fujino, H.Gamma Knife surgery for metastatic brain tumors from primary breast cancer: treatment indication based on number of tumors and breast cancer phenotype. Journal of Neurosugurery. December 2010.

Shyamal, C. Bir, Sudheer Ambekar, Papireddy Bollam, and Anil Nanda. Long-term outcome of gamma knife radiosurgery for metastatic brain tumors originating from lung cancer. Surgical Neurology International. September 2014.


For more information, including additional research studies, call the Rocky Mountain Gamma Knife Center at 303-366-0099 or schedule a phone consultation online.


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