UofL Health surgeons become the first in Kentucky to perform new brain cancer treatment

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By UofL Health

A UofL Health – neurosurgery team has become the first in Kentucky to offer GammaTile Therapy, a novel approach to treating brain tumors. Neurosurgeon Dr. Brian Williams and his team worked alongside radiation oncologist Dr. Shaio Woo and others, developing a plan for the safe removal of an aggressive brain tumor.

Thomas Shober underwent brain tumor resection with GammaTile Therapy on Aug. 1 and is recovering well.

GammaTile Therapy is an FDA-cleared, Surgically Targeted Radiation Therapy (STaRT) that is designed to delay tumor regrowth for patients with brain tumors while protecting healthy brain tissue.

“This is just another example of our multidisciplinary approach to patient care. We knew we would have to think outside the box in order to attack the reoccurring and aggressive tumor around Mr. Shober’s brain,” said Brian Williams, MD, UofL Physicians – Restorative Neuroscience. “Through our collaboration with GammaTile, our team was able to accomplish this first-in-Kentucky procedure, proof of our commitment to innovative treatment for our patients.”

Over 200,000 patients are diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in the U.S. each year.  Aggressive brain tumors tend to be resistant to current treatments and have a high likelihood of recurrence. GammaTile is FDA-cleared for patients with newly diagnosed malignant brain tumors and recurrent brain tumors, including gliomas, glioblastomas, meningiomas and brain metastases.

The postage-stamp-sized GammaTile, which is embedded with small radiation sources, is implanted in the last 5 minutes of brain tumor removal surgery. The radiation immediately begins targeting tumor cells in the area where the tumor is most likely to recur. Over time and after the radiation has been delivered, the tile naturally resorbs. GammaTile Therapy is shown to improve local tumor control, which can extend a patient’s life.

“GammaTile is an efficient way of treating certain brain tumors because the tiles are placed against the tumor in the operating room immediately after the tumor is removed,” said Shaio Woo, MD, UofL Health – Brown Cancer Center – Radiation Oncology. “We are pleased to bring this new standard of care to Kentucky for the first time.”

The previous standard of care for patients with operable brain tumors is the surgical removal of the tumor followed by adjuvant therapy, including radiation and chemotherapy.  Traditional radiation is delivered in as many as 30 treatments extending over a period of several weeks. This causes a substantial burden of treatment for patients and their caregivers alike. With GammaTile, patients receive treatment as they go about their daily lives.

Additionally, GammaTile is a highly targeted therapy. While a therapeutic dose is delivered to the area most likely to have a recurrence, healthy tissue is spared. As a result, most patients avoid losing their hair during treatment.

“We are honored to be working with the brain tumor specialists at UofL Health to deploy GammaTile Therapy for the purpose of improving the lives of patients with brain tumors,” said Matt Likens, president and CEO of GT MedTech. “Patients deserve access to new treatments that can extend their lifespan while improving quality of life. We are excited to expand the availability of GammaTile Therapy to other leading brain tumor treatment centers across the U.S.”

Read on UofLNews.com here.