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Radiosurgery Program
Home > Patient Care > Radiosurgery Program


Gamma Knife®
Gamma Knife® radiosurgery is a sophisticated radiation therapy technique that precisely delivers a single, finely focused, high dose of radiation to well-defined, small intracranial targets. It is especially effective for treating tumors, epilepsy, trigeminal neuralgia, and arteriovenous malformations. Since UCSF adopted the Gamma Knife in 1991, it has greatly improved the prognosis of patients with these disorders. The procedure entails very little discomfort and patients recuperate within a few hours. UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children's Hospital were the first Gamma Knife centers in northern California and operate today with the latest model, the Perfexion® Gamma Knife in July 2007. The UCSF Gamma Knife team has over 17 years of experience with radiosurgery and has treated over 3,400 patients to date. For more information about the Gamma Knife, visit (manufacturer).
A history of radiosurgery at UCSF and an introduction to the new Perfexion Gamma Knife®
For the treatment of spine tumors or intracranial tumors not amenable to Gamma Knife radiosurgery, Radiation Oncology and Neurological Surgery clinicians use a radiosurgery system called the CyberKnife®. UCSF is one of the few centers in California to offer this treatment and recently updated to the latest version of the machine in October 2008. It is a noninvasive system that combines robotics and advanced image guidance, which adjust for a patient's movements and map the precise location of the patient and the lesion during treatment. The CyberKnife offers patients a number of of advantages over other therapies:

  • Noninvasive, painless treatment
  • Treatment in one to five sessions
  • Focused radiation that delivers maximum dosage to the target abnormality without impacting healthy tissue
  • No need for a frame to immobilize the patient during treatment
FAQ about the CyberKnife® (provided by the manufacturer)
FAQ about Gamma Knife® radiosurgery at UCSF
Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia  
Associated Faculty
Co-Director (Neurological Surgery)
Michael W. McDermott MD
Co-Director (Radiation Oncology)
Penny K. Sneed MD
Faculty Practitioners
Nicholas M. Barbaro MD
Mitchel S. Berger MD
Andrew T. Parsa MD, PhD
Lawrence H. Pitts MD
Nalin Gupta MD, PhD
Radiation Oncology Faculty
Daphne Haas-Kogan MD
Kim Huang MD
Paula L. Petti PhD
Theodore L. Phillips MD
Vernon Smith PhD
Lynn J. Verhey PhD
William M. Wara MD
Functional Neurosurgery Programs
Department of Neurological Surgery
University of California San Francisco
UCSF Medical Center, A-808
400 Parnassus Avenue, Box 0350
San Francisco, CA 94143-0350
tel 415.353.7500; fax 415.353.2889

UCSF UCSF Medical Center UCSF School of Medicine