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Benefits of Novalis

Nebraska Medicine recently became the only hospital in the state to acquire the Novalis shaped beam surgery which delivers a carefully shaped and highly precise dose of high-energy radiation to treat tumors in the brain, spinal column and other parts of the body. Research shows that higher radiation doses may result in increased cure rates and improved tumor control.

Conventional radiation therapy uses beams of uniform intensity, making it extremely difficult to fully treat the tumor without damaging surrounding tissue and organs. Often, the physician must either stop short of full treatment or continue with an increased risk of side effects.

Novalis provides an alternative to invasive surgery, and in most cases, enables physicians to treat patients with tumors and other functional abnormalities on an outpatient basis, potentially avoiding the risks associated with surgery and a prolonged recovery, says Charles Enke, M.D., radiation oncologist at The Nebraska Medical Center. The procedure is virtually painless, avoids lengthy hospital stays or rehabilitation and the patient remains awake throughout the entire process.

This is state-of-the-art technology in radiation oncology," says George Greene, M.D., neurological surgeon at Nebraska Medicine. "The introduction of IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy) offered significant advancements in radiation therapy. But this goes even one step beyond. The increased precision of Novalis allows us to target very small lesions more accurately and with higher doses than was possible before. It also allows us to treat a wider range of tumors, both benign and malignant as well as conditions other than tumors, including arteriovenous malformations, trigeminal neuralgia, acoustic neuromas and pituitary adenomas and seizure disorders within the brain.

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