(Greenwood, S.C., September 22, 2020) A new collaboration between Self Regional Healthcare’s Cancer Center radiation oncologists Drs. Wood and Funke, and neurosurgeons from the South Carolina Spine Center Drs. Kilburn and Cole, offers new hope for patients with tumors or cancers of the brain and head.

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) involves the delivery of an ultra-high dose of focused radiation therapy to a small areas in the brain or other part of the head. This is usually delivered in one, or few treatment sessions. Although it has the word surgery in the name, it does not involve any surgical cuts or anesthesia and is a completely non-invasive treatment.

Drs. Jay Cole, John Funke III, Michael P.B. Kilburn and Clint Wood stand with the Varian Edge machine.

SRS is most commonly used to treat patients with brain metastases, meaning cancers that originated elsewhere in the body but have traveled or spread to the brain. Less commonly, it can also be used to treat slow growing benign tumors (such as pituitary tumors and meningioma), and to re-treat an area previously treated with radiation therapy.

An expert team plans each case with the patient’s specific needs in mind. This team consists of radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons, radiation therapists, dosimetrists, medical physicists, and oncology nurses. During planning, the team will discuss if SRS is a suitable option before the treatment is recommended.

Dr. E. Clint Wood of Self Regional Healthcare’s Cancer Center stated, “We’re excited to offer this revolutionary option to eligible patients. Having the ability to work closely with the neurosurgeons from the South Carolina Spine Center is fantastic, as it allows us to offer a comprehensive and aggressive approach to head and brain cancers. SRS is very fast and painless, and we are grateful to be able to offer it to our community.”

At Self Regional, SRS is delivered using a specialized machine called the Varian EDGE linear accelerator. Self Regional is fortunate to be the only cancer center in SC with this advanced technology. Several other methods exist for delivering SRS including GammaKnife and Cyberknife. All SRS systems have similar common features to enable precise and safe radiation therapy, however key functions of Self Regional’s EDGE allow for much faster delivery of treatment with real-time tracking of the patient and tumor positioning during therapy to reduce overall exposure time and increased patient comfort. Depending on the type of SRS, set up and treatment time SRS can be completed in 30 minutes or less.


About Self Regional Healthcare
Self Regional Healthcare is a not-for-profit, regional referral hospital that provides care to residents of Greenwood, Abbeville, Laurens, Saluda, McCormick, Edgefield and Newberry counties. Services include prevention and wellness, acute care and tertiary care services including cancer care, neurosurgery, heart and vascular surgery, NICU, orthopedics and genetics. Self Medical Group is its employed physician affiliate network.