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Gammapod developed at University of Maryland School of Medicine targets early-stage breast cancer
Date:7/11/2013

breast is fitted into a patented two-layer, vacuum-assisted cup that immobilizes the breast during imaging and treatment. The breast cups come in 28 sizes to provide a proper fit. Such immobilization allows the radiation to strike only the tumor with pinpoint accuracy and minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue and adjacent major organs such as the heart and lungs. Treatment will take anywhere from 5-40 minutes, depending on the treatment plan. "We want to make sure the treatment process is as comfortable for women as can be," says Dr. Yu.

"Dr. Yu's accomplishments represent the type of extraordinary innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that we foster here at the School of Medicine," says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the School of Medicine. "His research is turning groundbreaking discoveries from the laboratory into potentially lifesaving solutions for patients. He is an outstanding research scientist, and we are hopeful that his work will revolutionize the field, changing the way that radiation oncologists approach breast cancer treatment."

Although it has yet to be tested on breast cancer patients, Dr. Yu hopes that the GammaPod will one day offer an alternative to invasive surgery in those with early-stage tumors. "With standard therapy, breast cancer patients often have surgery to remove the tumor, followed by five to seven weeks of radiation treatments to destroy any residual cancer cells," says Dr. Yu. "We hope that GammaPod will dramatically reduce the treatment time to a few treatments that can be done over the course of a week. There is potential that the need for surgery could be eliminated altogether, meaning no needles, no knives, no anesthesia and no scars."

Clinical trials are a critical next step to bringing the GammaPod to patients. Principal investigator on the trials at the
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Contact: Karen Robinson
karobinson@som.umaryland.edu
410-706-7590
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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