Willis-Knighton Cancer Center First in State to Offer GammaTile® Therapy

Mar 17, 2021

The first GammaTile® Therapy medical device to treat malignant brain tumors was implanted at Willis-Knighton Medical Center during a neurosurgery procedure by Christina Notarianni, MD, and William Christopher Newman, MD, neurosurgeons, in collaboration with Willis-Knighton Cancer Center’s Jake Wang, MD, radiation oncologist, and Terry Wu, PhD, medical physicist.

Drs. Notarianni and Newman, who are on faculty at LSU Health Shreveport, were able to perform the complex surgery utilizing GammaTile because Willis-Knighton Cancer Center is the first cancer center in the state and one of only 32 cancer center/hospitals in the United States with radiation therapy expertise to supplement the surgery.  GammaTile Therapy was initially approved by the FDA for the treatment of recurrent brain tumors, including glioblastomas, gliomas, meningiomas and brain metastases. The FDA has expanded the technology to include newly diagnosed malignant brain tumors.

“We are excited to offer this new treatment that protects healthy brain tissue while allowing us to deliver radiation immediately at the time of surgery, targeting residual tumor cells more directly,” says Dr. Wang.   

GammaTile Therapy, known as surgically targeted radiation therapy (STaRT), is designed to prevent 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 limiting the impact on healthy brain tissue. Patients receive treatment while going about their daily lives and require no additional trips to the hospital for radiation therapy. Once the treatment has been delivered, the tile is naturally resorbed by the body.

More than 700,000 patients are living with a brain tumor in the United States each year.

“GammaTile Therapy is game-changing technology,” Dr. Wang says. “It can prolong life and offer a better quality of life.”