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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program

Stereotactic radiosurgery is a revolutionary approach to treating brain tumors and other central nervous system disorders without a single incision. It is used to treat malignant tumors arising in the brain as well as metastatic tumors that have spread to the brain from other areas in the body. It can also be used to treat nonmalignant tumors in the brain, such as acoustic neuromas, craniopharyngiomas, meningiomas and pituitary tumors. Certain blood vessel abnormalities in the brain also may be treated with radiosurgery. These include arteriovenous malformations, cavernous malformations and dural arteriovenous fistulas. In addition, radiosurgery is effective at treating certain chronic pain disorders, such as trigeminal neuralgia.

UC Davis Cancer Center is one of a small number of centers worldwide that is able to offer patients two radiosurgery treatment options:

  • a state-of-the-art Leksell Gamma Knife system capable of targeting small tumors or neural tissues with precision

  • a linear accelerator (LINAC)-based stereotactic BrainLab radiosurgery system for large and irregularly shaped lesions that require multiple treatments.

The availability of the two systems gives our patients more treatment options and allows us to successfully treat a wide range of malignant and benign tumors.

Surgery without an incision

Unlike traditional surgery, no knife is used. Instead, patients are treated with highly focused radiation beams that destroy abnormal tissue with minimal risk to surrounding healthy tissue. The term "stereotactic" refers to the computer-calculated, three-dimensional coordinates that guide the beams of radiation with extreme precision.

Open-skull surgery usually requires an extended hospital stay. In contrast, radiosurgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. In addition, radiosurgery carries minimal risk of infection, hemorrhage or other complications associated with open-skull surgery.

Anesthesia-related risks are also reduced, since general anesthesia is rarely required; radiosurgery is both painless and bloodless. Recovery time is minimal as well. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities a day or two following radiosurgery.

Radiosurgery is reimbursed by most insurance companies, PPOs, HMOs, and Medicare.

Our treatment team

At UC Davis Cancer Center, each patient's radiosurgery is planned and delivered collaboratively by a multidisciplinary team of medical personnel with advanced training in radiosurgery.

The team includes radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, radiation physicists and radiosurgery nurses.

Radiation Oncology

Stephen Franklin, M.D.
Staff Physician

Neurological Surgery 

James E. Boggan, M.D.
Professor of Neurological Surgery
Co-Director, Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program

Dongwoo John Chang, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery
Director, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery
Director, Epilepsy Surgery
Co-Director, Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

Kee Kim, M.D.
Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery


Richard Latchaw, M.D.
Professor of Radiology and Chief of Neuroradiology

Cheng Ji, M.D.
Associate Professor of Radiology

Radiation Physics

Julian Perks, Ph.D.
Radiation Oncology Physicist

Robin Stern, Ph.D.
Radiation Oncology Physicist

Radiosurgery Nursing

Theresa Wilson, R.N., O.C.N.
Radiosurgery Coordinator

New patient appointments

To make an appointment, please call (916) 703-5210 or (800) 362-5566.

Updated 10/2008.