Updated: Dec 14, 2022
When it comes to cutting edge treatments for aggressive brain tumors, AdventHealth in Central Florida has been a leader with innovative procedures of all types. Dr. Melvin Field and Dr. Ravi Gandhi of Orlando Neurosurgery and Advent Health radiation oncology became the first team in Central Florida to use a new and potentially life-extending technology called GammaTile during brain surgery for cancer patient
The tiny tiles, no bigger than postage stamps, contain radioactive seeds embedded in biodegradable collagen, and are placed inside the brain after as much as possible of the tumor is surgically removed.
Brain cancers such as glioblastoma, the disease that killed President Joe Biden’s son Beau and former U.S. Sen. John McCain, are notoriously aggressive. Nearly 84,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary brain tumor every year. An additional 70,000-plus people develop secondary brain tumors (metastases) as a result of cancer elsewhere in the body, such as in the lungs or breast.
GammaTile begins killing cancer cells right away through precise emission of radiation. The tiles last about six weeks before being naturally absorbed by the body. The radiation targets only the adjacent cancer-involved tissues and minimizes damage to healthy tissue. Individuals that are physically close to the patient do not have to worry about exposure to radiation.
GammaTile is a game changer in brain tumor treatment, it begins working immediately after placement into the brain. For the patient, he or she can begin the next phase of treatment right away, without having to wait to heal from surgery. When you are dealing with cancer, time is essential.
GammaTile, which was approved by the FDA less than two years ago, can be used as a first- or second-line treatment. Having already performed two procedures this month, Field and Mohiuddin have utilized GammaTile for patients with progressive brain tumors despite previous treatment with conventional therapies.