Newswise — NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is the first hospital in New Jersey to offer the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon, the most precise stereotactic radiosurgery system (SRS) currently available to patients diagnosed with primary and secondary brain tumors, vascular disorders, refractory pain, and movement disorders.

Treatments using the new Icon System are available at the hospital's New Brunswick campus and can now be planned and guided by a frameless approach, when appropriate. The frameless mask solution is one of several new features of Icon and is integrated with a high-definition motion management system.

“Increasing the precision of cranial stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is essential for effectively targeting tumor tissue while protecting healthy brain tissue from damage,” said Shabbar Danish, MD, FAANS, Chief of Neurosurgery for Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Director of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery Director at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Director of the Gamma Knife Center at RWJUH. “The new Gamma Knife Icon System now provides the most accurate motion tracking during treatment. Additionally with Gamma Knife, there is a two-to-four fold improvement in sparing normal brain tissue compared to other linear accelerator technologies.”

Nearly 78,000 new cases of primary brain tumors (including cancerous and non-cancerous tumors) were diagnosed in 2015, and today nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. alone are living with primary brain and CNS tumors including malignant tumors, benign tumors, functional disorders (such as essential tremor and severe facial pain (trigeminal neuralgia) vascular disorders and ocular disorders.

Primary and metastatic brain tumors are challenging to treat. While surgery is an effective option, great care must be taken to minimize damage to normal surrounding brain tissue, and patients are at risk for surgical complications such as infection, post-surgical bleeding, and complications due to anesthesia. Traditional radiation therapy delivered to the brain may cause damage to healthy tissue within the brain and other parts of the body, leading to side effects such as hair loss, skin problems, neurocognitive decline and fatigue. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a non-invasive treatment that focuses multiple beams of radiation to specific areas within the brain, destroying diseased tissue with precision while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The procedure typically involves a single, outpatient session of radiation.

“As a major academic medical center, we are proud to make the latest generation of this technology available to our patients,” explains Kimyatta Washington, MHSA, Assistant Vice President of Oncology Services for RWJUH. “Adoption of this latest advance in SRS technology is consistent with our mission to offer our patients the highest level of care for neurological disorders. Adding Gamma Knife Icon to our multi-disciplinary approach to treating brain cancer and complex neurological disorders in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and our other highly advanced cancer treatment centers within RWJBarnabas Health System, will allow us to offer the benefits of cranial SRS to a broader population of patients with brain disease, and to provide these patients with the most precise targeting technology available.”

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a 965-bed academic medical center with campuses in New Brunswick and Somerville, NJ. Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, joint replacement, and women’s and children’s care including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (

As the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, RWJUH is an innovative leader in advancing state-of-the-art care. A Level 1 Trauma Center and the first Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.

RWJUH has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report seven times and has been selected by the publication as a high performing hospital in numerous specialties. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report three times. In addition, RWJUH was named among the best places to work in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine and received the Equity Care of Award as Top Hospital for Healthcare Diversity and Inclusion from the American Hospital Association.

Both the New Brunswick and Somerset campuses have earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence and “Most Wired” designation by Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine. The Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services have designated the New Brunswick Campus as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and the Somerset Campus as a Primary Stroke Center.

The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH New Brunswick among the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers and designated the Steeplechase Cancer Center at RWJ Somerset as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center. The Joint Surgery Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total knee and total hip replacement surgery.