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† E. A Safer Way To Remove Benign Brain Tumors

Narrator: This is Science Today. Neurosurgeons at UCLA working to remove benign brain tumors, have acquired a new device called the x-knife, which Dr. Donald Becker says is similar to the gamma-knife, which radiates small areas of the brain.

Becker: The x-knife is a step forward in that one can focus radiation therapy to a specific small area, but give the radiation therapy in smaller doses on repeated occasions and this allows one to treat tumors for example, that are very close to very critical structures such as the visual nerves, which are sensitive to radiation.

Narrator: The x-knife is often used to remove pieces of the tumor left behind during surgery.

Becker: Many of these benign brain tumors which are small can be treated just with the x-knife and radiation alone, so called bloodless surgery. And now we can even treat patients with the x-knife who have brain tumors that are right up next to and lying on important cranial nerves.

Narrator: And the less invasive the surgery, the less the chances are of causing neurological damage. For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.