CINCINNATI, OH – Vincent DiNapoli, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon with Mayfield Brain & Spine and Director of the Brain Tumor Center at The Jewish Hospital-Mercy Health, is the first surgeon in the eastern United States to offer GammaTile™ Therapy for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain cancer. Dr. DiNapoli performed the first case with GammaTile on August 13. The first radiation treatment specifically designed for use inside the brain, GammaTile Therapy gives patients a head STaRT and new hope in the fight against recurrent brain tumors.
GammaTile Therapy is a surgically targeted radiation therapy designed to delay brain tumor recurrence. It consists of a 3D-collagen tile embedded with a cesium radiation source. GammaTile is placed in the tumor cavity at the time of surgery so that it immediately begins to target residual tumor cells with radiation while limiting the impact on healthy brain tissue.
“Previously, we embedded individual seeds into the brain and glued them in place,” Dr. DiNapoli said. “Despite our best efforts, they had the potential to migrate to another part of the brain. With GammaTile, the radiation is embedded into a wafer that is similar to a surgical sponge. This eliminates the worry that individual seeds will migrate from their original placement, and helps protect healthy brain tissue from radiation.”
Implanting tiles that contain four seeds rather than placing seeds one by one also cuts down on the length of the surgery and, consequently, the length of time the patient is under anesthesia. “The process is very quick,” Dr. DiNapoli said. “It can be done in less than 5 minutes.”
GammaTile, manufactured by Tempe, Arizona-based GT MedTech, has been cleared by the FDA for treatment of recurrent brain tumors, including glioblastomas, gliomas, meningiomas, and brain metastases. Glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of glioma tumor, tends to be resistant to current treatments and has a high likelihood of recurrence. Outcomes for patients with glioblastoma, including the late Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator John McCain, have improved very little over the past 30 years.
“For years, doctors have sought better treatment options for patients with recurrent brain tumors,” said Elizabeth Levick, MD, radiation oncologist with OHC (Oncology Hematology Care). Even after successful surgery and standards treatments, many brain tumors can return, and patients often feel as though they are starting over from square one. Now, we have a strong opportunity with GammaTile to treat recurrent brain tumors. It’s another advancement in OHC’s fight against cancer, and it’s an honor and a privilege to be a member of the team introducing this technology to our region.”
Patients who undergo surgery for newly diagnosed glioblastoma are also treated with 1) external beam radiation delivered over a period of weeks via a linear accelerator machine and 2) temozolomide (Temodar) chemotherapy.
If the cancer recurs and patients undergo surgery a second time, they may benefit from GammaTile Therapy, which requires no additional trips to the hospital or clinic. Patients may also benefit from GammaTile if they are not candidates for radiosurgery at the time of tumor recurrence because the risk of additional radiation outweighs the potential benefits.
GammaTile therapy, like newer radiation seed implants, uses cesium-131 radiation, which has a half-life of 10 days. Previous iterations of radiation seeds utilized iodine-125, which had a half-life of 60 days. Cesium’s shorter half-life means that patients and families are exposed to radiation for a much shorter period of time.
GammaTile is also FDA-cleared as a therapy for recurrent meningioma. Data supporting the efficacy and safety profile of the therapy for patients with recurrent, previously treated meningiomas was published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, the official journal of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Clinical data from other types of tumors was presented at the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting in April 2019.
SurgicalOne is the premier distributor of surgical products. Founded in 2000, SurgicalOne serves all medical specialties in the microsurgical, implant, dental and capital equipment markets. covering 10 states across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. We work closely with neurosurgeons, orthopedic and spine surgeons, ophthalmologists, ENT specialists, urologists, gynecologists and cardiovascular surgeons to provide high quality, in-demand products that improve the lives of surgeons and their patients.
About GT Medical Technologies, Inc.
Driven to overcome the limitations of current treatments for recurrent brain tumors and raise the standard of care, a team of brain tumor specialists joined forces and formed GT Medical Technologies with a purpose to prevent disease progression and improve quality of life for patients with recurrent brain tumors. GammaTile Therapy received FDA 510(k) regulatory clearance for the treatment of all types of recurrent brain tumors in July 2018 and has an established CMS code for Medicare reimbursement. Extensive clinical expertise informed the design of GammaTile Therapy, and deep medical device experience guides the company. The company is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona. For more information, visit GTmedtech.com.
A version of this article appeared on mayfieldclinic.com