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

School of Medicine is Steven Feigenberg, M.D., Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Research and Co-Director of the Program of Excellence in Technology-Based Translational Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology. He is currently seeking approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the trials, although they will not be able to start until the FDA approves the device for clinical testing.

"Patients in the clinical trial will be treated with the GammaPod system before they have a lumpectomy to remove the tumor," Dr. Feigenberg explains. "We want to see if GammaPod can neutralize the tumor and will check for any traces of cancer in the area around the tumor. Patients will, of course, still have the option of partial or whole-breast irradiation, if it is needed."

Another common treatment for breast cancer involves brachytherapy, or "internal" radiation, to treat the cancer with radioactive seeds placed inside the breast through small catheters. Dr. Yu hopes the GammaPod will offer an alternative to this procedure, in which 10-20 catheters are placed, requiring an operating room and general anesthesia for the patient. "I had participated in many of these procedures, and I knew there had to be a better way to get the same or better results without putting women through these invasive treatments," Dr. Yu says.

"One hundred thousand women a year are receiving breast conservation therapy (BCT), traditionally a lumpectomy followed by weeks of radiation therapy," says William F. Regine, MD, the Isadore & Fannie Schneider Foxman Professor and Chair in the Department of Radiation Oncology. "An even greater number could receive BCT if treatment could be done in a matter of 1-3 days and with less radiation exposure. We hope the GammaPod will meet the challenge of developing a simpler and safer treatment for early-stage breast cancer that will help women avoid the self-image distortion that too often is a result of current treatme
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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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