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Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Course

The Department of Neurological Surgery and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Center for Continuing Education in the Health Science present a Gamma Knife® training course, "Principles and Practice of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery," targeted at neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists and medical physicists interested in Gamma Knife radiosurgery education.

Through attendance at this Gamma Knife training program, registrants should obtain knowledge about the practical aspects of stereotactic radiosurgery using the Leksell Gamma Knife. Principles of radiation physics and radiobiology, as they apply to single-session, focused, small volume irradiation will be covered. Registrants should be able to create radiosurgery dose plans for brain tumors, vascular malformations and trigeminal neuralgia. At the close of the Gamma Knife training program, participants should be able to discuss those issues relevant to dose selection in individual patients and discuss the spectrum of complications after radiosurgery and their management.

The next course is scheduled for January 6-10, 2020. (All course dates are listed below.) Please contact Kelly Powell for more information on enrollment. (See course application.)

Participation by all individuals is encouraged. Advance notification of any special needs will help us provide better service. Please notify us of your needs at least two weeks in advance of the program by calling 412-647-7744.

This course is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences and the Department of Neurological Surgery’s Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery.

Course Faculty
Tuition and Registration
CME Credits
Future Course Dates


Historical View on Stereotaxy and Radiosurgery
Frame Overview: Stereotactic Applications
Stereotactic Targeting and MR Stereotactic Imaging
Functioning/Maintenance of the Different Gamma Knife Units 
Vascular Malformation Case Review
Dose Planning
Basic Radiobiology
Brain Metastases & Gliomas
Acoustic Neuromas
Basic Radiation Physics Related to Leksell Gamma Knife
Introduction to APS
Dose Planning: Metastases and Acoustic Tumors
AVM Radiosurgery - Results/Dose Planning
Informed Consent
Hands on Training: Gamma Knife
Radiation Safety & Acceptance Testing
Quality Assurance fro Radiosurgery
Pituitary Tumors and AVMs
Patient Preparation and Pre-op Video tape teaching
Requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Pediatric Anesthesia for Radiosurgery
Meningiomas - Results/Dose Planning
Pituitary Tumors and Skull Base Radiosurgery
Economics and Reimbursement (IRSA)
Dose Planning: Meningiomas/Other
Trigeminal Neuralgia, Functional Radiosurgery and Epilepsy
Cavernous Malformations

Course Faculty

L. Dade Lunsford, MD
Lars Leksell Professor of Neurological Surgery
DirectorCenter for Image-Guided Neurosurgery
University of Pittsburgh

Ajay Niranjan, MD, MBA
Professor of Neurological Surgery
UPMC MEG Brain Mapping Center
Associate Director, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery
University of Pittsburgh

Edward A. Monaco, III, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery
University of Pittsburgh

John C. Flickinger, MD
Professor of Radiation Oncology
University of Pittsburgh

• Guest Faculty

Peter Gerszten, MD, MPH
Peter E. Sheptak Professor of Neurological Surgery
University of Pittsburgh

J. Greenberg, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesia
University of Pittsburgh

• Medical Physics

Michael Sheetz, MS, CHP
Director, Radiation Safety

Greg Bednarz, PhD

Jong Kim, PhD

• Nursing

Jonet Vacsulka, BSN

• Technical Support

Susan E. Lohman, RN, CNOR  (Elekta)

Jay Forsythe, CMD, RT (Elekta)

Andy Lunsford
Senior Field Service Engineer (Elekta)

In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials distributed at the time of the conference.

Tuition and Registration

Tuition for the five-day course is $6,500 for each participant. Tuition for the three-day (Tues-Wed-Thur) PFX or ICON upgrade course—for users who have taken either the 4C or PFX five-day course—is $4,500. As course enrollment is limited to 15 people, early registration is recommended. Please complete the Registration Form and return promptly to:

Kelly Powell
Department of Neurological Surgery
UPMC Presbyterian
Suite B-400
200 Lothrop Street,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
e-mail: powellkc@upmc.edu 
Phone: 412-647-7744

Registration will not be accepted without tuition payment. Please make tuition check payable to, “UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside,” including the name of participant and last five digits of the participant's social security number. For more information on tuition, please contact Kelly Powell at 412-647-7744.

Credit card payment is also accepted. Online payment can be made at paybill.upmc.com/OBP/site/gammakniferadiosurgery.

Please note: All cancellations must be received two weeks prior to start of course or tuition will be applied to a future training course.

.pdf version of the program/registration form is available for download.


We have negotiated a special rate of $129.00/night for course participants at the Residence Inn by Marriott Pittsburgh/Oakland. We will reserve a single room in your name upon receiving a registration form with arrival and departure dates. If you are bringing a companion or have a special rooming request, please let us know when registering. A single room will be reserved unless you specify that you are bringing a guest. The hotel is located within walking distance of the campus. Amenities include: free hot breakfast buffet, heated pool, work out room, laundry service and wifi.

Residence Inn by Marriott Pittsburgh/Oakland
3341 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh PA 15213
Phone: 412-621-5600

CME Credits

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Pittsburgh designates this live activity for a maximum of 49.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Other healthcare professionals are awarded 4.9 Continuing Education Unit (CEU’s) which are equal to 49.5 contact hours.

Perfexion course segment credit is 24 AMA PRA Category 1™ credits.

Application to CAMPEP has been made for 44.08 MPCEC hours

(Please note: The Center for Continuing Education and the Department of Neurological Surgery do not certify that, through participation in this program, participants are competent to perform certain procedures or skills.)

Future Course Dates

January 6-10
March 9-13
May 11-15
July 6-10
September 21-25
November 9-13