Andrew Boucher, MD, and Madison Michael II, MD, neurosurgeons at Semmes Murphey with Matthew Ballo, MD, radiation oncologist at West Cancer Center are the first in this region to offer GammaTile® Therapy, a novel approach to treating brain tumors. 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. The first two patients have been treated at St. Francis Hospital to date.
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 five 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.
According to Matthew Ballo, MD, Director of Radiation Oncology at West Cancer Center, “We are very excited to partner with Semmes-Murphey Neurosurgery Clinic and St. Francis Hospital to offer this exciting new technology. For many patients with recurrent brain cancer, a repeat surgery and a second course of external beam radiation therapy is the only way to slow down the progression of disease. Unfortunately, our hands are often tied by previous surgeries and previous external beam radiation treatments. By delivering the treatment from the inside of the brain, GammaTile lets us avoid the skin, scalp and normal brain but still deliver a high dose of radiation directly to the brain tumor. GammaTile will allow us to treat patients with brain tumors that quite frankly cannot be treated any other way. This is another example of how by working together we can meaningfully improve the lives of cancer patients here in Memphis and throughout the Mid-South.