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First Gamma Knife Esprit patient resumes life as usual only days after brain surgery

UK’s National Centre for Stereotactic Radiosurgery in Sheffield is first in the world to begin treating with Elekta’s latest Leksell Gamma Knife system

Derry Crighton, a father of three from Scotland, says the Elekta Esprit radiosurgery system used to treat his arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which is a tangled mass of blood vessels found in the brain, was a godsend. “It truly gives me hope,” he says.

Derry was one of the first patients to be treated last week with the new Elekta Esprit, a Leksell Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) system, at the National Centre for Stereotactic Radiosurgery in Sheffield, UK. Just days after receiving the treatment, Derry was tending his garden, enjoying life again. He expects to resume his work as an arborist and tree surgeon next week.

“Gamma Knife treatment is amazing because it is invisible and painless, and you are awake through the whole thing,” Derry says. During the first of two sessions to treat the AVM, the center in Sheffield used an earlier Gamma Knife model. From a patient perspective, he said the new machine, Esprit, was “far more comfortable and the process was smoother,” taking just an hour to complete. “One of the risks with open brain surgery instead of Gamma Knife was that I would have probably been blind in one eye, because of the AVM’s difficult location in my brain.”

Julian Cahill, Consultant Neurosurgeon and Clinical Lead for the National Centre for Stereotactic Radiosurgery said: “Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is a world leader in pioneering Gamma Knife radiosurgery, and we are proud to be leading the way with the latest Gamma Knife technology which we are confident will enable a greater range of patients to receive treatment here in Sheffield.”

Susanna Francke Rodau, Senior Vice President and Head of Neuro Solutions at Elekta, adds: “It seems only fitting that the Sheffield Centre, one of our first customers, should inaugurate clinical treatment with our newest system, Esprit. And it’s comforting to know that with this advanced Gamma Knife, its clinicians can treat the most challenging targets, while preserving the mind, the self, the life of the patient.”

The Sheffield Centre for Stereotactic Radiosurgery has been using various Leksell Gamma Knife models since 1985, when it was the first in the United Kingdom, and only the third in the world, to treat patients with brain disease with the system. To date, it has treated more than 15,000 patients. Elekta (EKTA-B.ST) launched Esprit in 2022.


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