eNewsletter - News and Notes

Penn State Hershey performs 1,000th Gamma Knife procedureGamma Knife performs 1,000th procedure

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center recently completed its 1,000th Gamma Knife radiosurgery procedure. Gamma Knife radiosurgery uses a single dose of radiation instead of a surgeon's scalpel to treat a wide range of diseases, including both benign and malignant tumors, Parkinson's disease, vascular malformation and lesions that cause epilepsy.

Penn State Hershey's 1,000th Gamma Knife patient was Robert Reynolds from Mifflintown, Juniata County. Reynolds was treated for lung cancer that had spread to his brain. Since undergoing the procedure, Reynolds has returned to work as a Juniata County commissioner.

"We were able to treat five lesions in Mr. Reynolds' brain," said Dr. Jonas Sheehan, director of neuro-oncology at Penn State Hershey. "His case is a great example of how our experienced neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists are able to provide advanced care that allows patients with complex conditions to enjoy a high quality of life."

Specialists at Penn State Hershey began performing Gamma Knife procedures in April 2006. In June 2012, the Medical Center became the first health care provider in central Pennsylvania to upgrade to Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ technology. The new system allows the surgical team to streamline the set-up for such procedures, perform radiosurgery more quickly and efficiently and treat multiple tumors during a single session. Penn State Hershey is the only facility in central Pennsylvania to offer the Perfexion technology.

Because no incision is made in a Gamma Knife procedure, the risk of surgical complications is low. The radiation is delivered in 192 beams precisely focused on the treatment area. Treatment is much shorter than conventional surgery and causes virtually no discomfort. Also, the patient leaves the hospital the day of the procedure – compared with a typical stay of several days or more for traditional brain surgery.

To learn more about Gamma Knife radiosurgery at Penn State Hershey, please visit PennStateHershey.org/gammaknife or call 717-531-8807 (option 4).

Ayoola Ayodele, M.D. appointed co-chair of the IRB at St. Joseph Regional Health NetworkAyoola Ayodele, MD

Clinical faculty member Ayoola Ayodele, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, recently began co-chairing the Institutional Review Board for St. Joseph Regional Health Network with Peter Christ, M.D., the chair of Pathology at St. Joseph. 

As IRB Co-Chair, Dr. Ayodele has leadership responsibility for review and approval of human subject research in accordance with current guidelines, institutional policies, and federal and state regulations governing human subject protections. In addition, he oversees recruitment and retention of IRB members and presides over the executive committee meetings. All IRB research investigators involved in the conduct of human subject research take direction from the IRB Chairs.

Currently, St. Joseph has forty clinical trials underway: twenty-six oncology trials; nine cardiology trials; two qualitative pharmacy trials; one thoracic trial and two radiation oncology trials.

Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute has a growing affiliation with St. Joseph Cancer Center. Click here to  learn more and to view a tour of the Cancer Center.

Free Head and Neck Cancer Screening

More than 52,000 men and women are expected to be diagnosed with head and neck cancer this year. With early detection, there is a better chance of successful treatment. As part of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, head and neck cancer specialists from Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute are offering a free screening on Thursday, April 24 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. in University Physician Center Suite 400. Appointments are available on a first-call basis. Patients should call 1-800-243-1455 to schedule an appointment.

Hassan Sheikh, M.D. recent medical expert on WPSU-TV Conversations Live: Colon CancerGamma Knife performs 1,000th procedure

Hassan Sheikh, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, and staff oncologist at the Cancer Care Partnership - a partnership of Mount Nittany Health and Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute - was one of several medical experts on-hand during a live call-in show about colorectal cancer that aired on WPSU-TV last week. View the show here.