From OHC

August 15, 2019

Joanie Manzo

OHC is pleased to share that the Brain Tumor Center at The Jewish Hospital – Mercy Health is the first hospital in the eastern U.S. to offer GammaTile™ Therapy for the treatment of 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.

“For years, doctors have sought better treatment options for patients with recurrent brain tumors. Even after successful surgery and standard 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 the fight against cancer, and it’s an honor and a privilege to be a member of the team introducing this technology to this region,” said Elizabeth H. Levick, MD, radiation oncologist with OHC (Oncology Hematology Care).

The Brain Tumor Center is a partnership with OHC (Oncology Hematology Care), Mayfield Brain & Spine, and Mercy Health to provide the region with comprehensive, state-of-the-art care at the Brain Tumor Center. Vincent DiNapoli, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon with Mayfield Brain & Spine and Director of the Brain Tumor Center, performed the first case with GammaTile on August 13.

“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.”

Implanting tiles that contain several 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. It can be done in less than 5 minutes.

GammaTile, manufactured by Tempe, Arizona-based GT MedTech, has been cleared by the FDA for patients whose glioblastoma has grown back. 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.

Patients who undergo surgery for newly diagnosed glioblastoma are also treated with external beam radiation delivered over a period of weeks via a linear accelerator machine and 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 being studied 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.

OHC (Oncology Hematology Care) has been fighting cancer on the front lines for more than three decades. We are the region’s leading experts in the treatment of nearly every form of adult cancer and complex blood disorders. OHC offers the latest medical, gynecologic and radiation therapy, and is always seeking better treatment options through participation in clinical trials. OHC is certified by the American Society for Clinical Oncology in the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Certification Program, is an accredited Oncology Medical Home, and is one of only 176 practices nationally to be accepted into the Medicare Oncology Initiative. At its heart, our approach to cancer care is simple – to surround you with everything you need so you can focus on what matters most: beating cancer. For more information about services and careers at OHC, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit

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