Radiosurgery CenterChesapeake, Va. – Riverside Health System and University of Virginia welcome Chesapeake Regional Medical Center to the existing Radiosurgery Center partnership of seven years between Riverside and University of Virginia. Previously known as "Riverside and University of Virginia Radiosurgery Center" in Newport News, the new partnership will be known as "Chesapeake Regional, Riverside and University of Virginia Radiosurgery Center.

The Radiosurgery Center offers two advanced forms of stereotactic radiosurgery currently being used for non-invasive treatment of malignant and benign tumors in the brain and other areas of the body. Stereotactic refers to a minimally invasive form of surgical intervention using a three dimensional coordinant system to precisely deliver radiation to targets inside the body. In the case of brain surgery, an external, three-dimensional head frame attached to a patient head completely immobilizes the head in order to achieve unparalleled accuracy and precision of this image guided technology. Stereotactic radiosurgery enables most patients to have less invasive surgery, avoid long hospital stays and greatly reduces their recovery time.

"Patients throughout southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina now have direct access to an established and experienced network of advanced radiosurgery services and clinical trials with one of the leading international authorities on radiosurgery. Our patients will have seamless, convenient access to state-of-the-art radiosurgery services right in their own community," said Wynn L. Dixon, Jr., president and CEO of Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. "Most importantly, this partnership enhances the personalized, technologically-advanced care upon which we pride ourselves."

Radiosurgery procedures on the brain are performed using Gamma Knife®, considered one the most advanced non-invasive neurosurgical tools available. The Gamma Knife® allows a surgeon to perform brain surgery without a scalpel and without cutting the skull. Instead, the Gamma Knife® treatment uses 201 highly focused beams of Cobalt-60 radiation that intersect at a tumor site to produce biological effects on tissues inside the skull. Because of its exceptional precision, treatment is typically carried out in a single sitting and potential damage to healthy surrounding tissue is minimized.  This Gamma Knife® radiosurgical treatment has an impressive scientific track record with thousands of peer-reviewed articles.  No other non-invasive treatment method in this field has greater clinical acceptance in the world.  

For the past 20 years, physicians at the University of Virginia Health System have helped shaped the field of radiosurgery. In 1989, UVA became one of the first medical centers in the U.S. to offer Gamma Knife radiosurgery.  Since then, more than 8,000 patients from every state in the U.S. and 54 countries have come to Charlottesville for Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Riverside Regional Medical Center began offering Gamma Knife radiosurgery in partnership with UVA in 2006.

"UVA is pleased to partner with Riverside Health System and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center to help patients in Hampton Roads receive cutting-edge care in a convenient location," says UVA neurosurgeon Jason Sheehan, MD, the center's co-medical director.

"This collaboration makes it easier for patients in the region to access a world-class cancer treatment option that would typically require a trip to an academic medical center," says Larry Fitzgerald, associate vice president for business development and finance at UVA Medical Center. "We value our partnership with Riverside Health System and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center."

"Riverside believes in partnering with other health care entities to create the best treatment approaches for patients who need this care," said Bill Downey, president and CEO of Riverside Health System. "The relationship with Chesapeake Regional and UVA is a great example of how three health care systems can use their experience and deep knowledge to meet the medical needs of the community," Downey continued.

In addition to the Gamma Knife®, which is used to treat both malignant and non-malignant brain tumors and other brain diseases, the Riverside and University of Virginia Radiosurgery Center also uses the Synergy S® system, which was developed for areas of the body as well as some tumors of the brain. The Synergy S® System combines a linear accelerator with a specialized, real-time imaging system that enables clinicians to more precisely target radiation to tumors or lesion sites, including the base of the skull, spine, neck, chest, lungs, pancreas, liver and adrenal gland. 

Both of these technologies are rooted in precisely delivered beams of radiation rather than incisions. Procedures are nearly painless and patients recover much faster than with conventional surgery.

The capability to provide cancer treatment for the whole body in one facility makes The Chesapeake Regional, Riverside and University of Virginia Radiosurgery Center a true Center of Excellence for radiosurgery and radiotherapy, treating patients from around the world. It is a valuable health resource for the region and beyond.


Published: March 15, 2012