July 16, 2012

Maury Regional performs its first cranial radiosurgery

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – On July 10, the first cranial radiosurgery was conducted at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) by Dr. Mark Cobb, a neurosurgeon, and Dr. Joel Kochanski, a radiation oncologist. Cranial radiosurgery is radiation treatment for certain tumors of the brain.

“We have had the technology to conduct radiosurgery for several months and have used this same technology for treating inoperable tumors in the liver and lungs,” said Kochanski. “Since Dr. Cobb joined the medical staff in June, we’ve been able to expand the use of this technology for brain tumors as well.”

Radiosurgery utilizes high doses of radiation that are delivered using a very precise beam for certain tumors in the brain. Treating these tumors requires highly accurate patient positioning and immobilization. The image-guided system uses computed tomography (CT) scans to track the target, which allows for precise placement of the radiation beam. The beams are delivered at multiple angles, all of which intersect at the tumor site while minimizing the damage to healthy surrounding tissue.

“The brain is a complex organ with critical structures in close proximity to one another; therefore, treating a tumor with precision is crucial to minimize damage to key areas of the brain,” said Cobb. “Such precision is accomplished by a collaborative effort of the treatment team, including the physicians, medical physicists, dosimetrists and radiation technologists. I am pleased to be a part of a team that demonstrates such a high-caliber commitment to excellence in patient care.”

Dr. Cobb, assistant professor of neurological surgery at Vanderbilt, received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He completed his residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas and a fellowship in epilepsy surgery at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Cobb is board certified in neurological surgery.

Dr. Kochanski, a member of the medical staff since 2008, received his medical degree from Stanford University in Stanford, California. He completed his residency at University of Chicago Hospitals and is board certified in radiation oncology.