NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) neurosurgeon, Julian Bailes, MD, is the first in Illinois to begin offering GammaTile® Therapy, a new approach to treating malignant brain tumors. The FDA-cleared, Surgically Targeted Radiation Therapy (STaRT) is designed to delay tumor regrowth for patients with high grade gliomas, meningiomas and brain metastases.

The FDA most recently approved GammaTile for the initial surgery and treatment of glioblastoma multiforme — the most common malignant tumor. The first patient in the state was treated by Dr. Bailes, who is chairman of the department of neurosurgery and co-director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute. Neuro-oncologist Ryan Merrell, MD, will also be participating in this new surgical therapy at NorthShore.

Aggressive brain tumors tend to be resistant to current treatments and have a high likelihood of recurrence. Smaller than a postage stamp (2cm x 2cm), the GammaTile is a 3D-collagen tile embedded with Cesium-131 radiation that can be placed at the tumor site after the tumor is surgically removed. It immediately begins to target any microscopic residual tumor with radiation while limiting the impact on healthy brain tissue. It adds just five to ten minutes to surgery time and is absorbed in the body within two months.

“We are excited to offer this new treatment that protects healthy brain tissue while providing immediate, targeted therapy directly to the area that’s most at risk for recurrence,” said Dr. Bailes. “Most patients report fewer side effects and better quality of life since this eliminates the wait time and procedures typically associated with standard treatment after the removal of a tumor.”

GammaTile Therapy is a radiation therapy specifically designed for implantation in the brain and offers advantages for patients undergoing surgery for brain tumors. GammaTile begins targeting residual tumor cells immediately at the time of tumor removal surgery, rather than waiting several weeks for surgical wound healing before beginning other treatment. GammaTile protects healthy brain tissue while delivering a targeted dose to any remaining tumor cells. The unique design also limits side effects typically associated with radiation therapy, including hair loss. These patients receive their course of internal, focused radiation while going about their daily lives, requiring no additional trips to the hospital or clinic for radiation therapy.

A male patient in his thirties was the first patient in Illinois to receive this treatment. He had brain surgery and standard chemotherapy and radiation last spring. Dr. Bailes says GammaTile therapy shows great promise for prolonging survival and improving quality of life for this patient and others.

Research has shown that patients who received surgery plus GammaTile Therapy had approximately two times improvement in median time to tumor recurrence. Data supporting the efficacy and safety profile of the therapy for patients with recurrent, previously treated meningioma’s was published in the Journal of Neurosurgery (JNS), the official journal of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

“We are honored to be working with the brain tumor specialists at NorthShore 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. “We are excited to begin expanding the availability of GammaTile Therapy to other leading brain tumor treatment centers across the U.S.”

NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) is an integrated healthcare delivery system consistently ranked a Top 15 Major Teaching Hospital in the U.S. Headquartered in Evanston, Illinois, NorthShore includes five hospitals – Evanston, Glenbrook, Highland Park, Skokie and Swedish, 140 care sites and 2,300 physicians, serving over 635,000 patients.

Source: Company Press Release