Maryland’s Health Matters - UMMS - Fall 2018 - 1
ZEROING IN ON
THE NEW GAMMAPOD RADIATION THERAPY, INVENTED BY UNIVERSITY
OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE RESEARCHERS, HAS THE POTENTIAL TO
REVOLUTIONIZE TREATMENT FOR WOMEN WITH EARLY-STAGE DISEASE
new method of noninvasive radiation
treatment could be a game-changer for
women with early-stage breast cancer.
GammaPod™ offers a unique design, which delivers
a higher dose of radiation to the tumor while less
radiation reaches the heart and lungs. It is gentler
on skin and healthy breast tissue, too.
The GammaPod was invented by faculty members
at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
(UM SOM) and is now being offered at the University
of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum
Comprehensive Cancer Center (UM GCCC) at the
University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
UM GCCC is the first center in the country offering this new type of radiation therapy for breast
cancer. The device was cleared by the Food and
Drug Administration in 2017, and three additional
hospitals in the U.S. and Canada plan to offer the
technology in the next year.
HOW GAMMAPOD WORKS
The GammaPod uses stereotactic radiation therapy
(a highly precise form of radiation most commonly
used to treat brain and lung cancers) to target small
areas of the breast. This accuracy allows for higher
doses of radiation to go directly to the target area.
"With this breast-specific treatment system, we
deliver high-dose radiation to a tumor while minimizing damage to normal breast tissue and-even more
importantly-to major organs such as the heart and
lungs," says co-inventor William F. Regine, MD, the
Isadore & Fannie Schneider Foxman endowed chair
and professor of radiation oncology at UM SOM and
By delivering high-dose radiation to a breast tumor while minimizing
damage to normal tissue, the GammaPod may eliminate the need for
surgery for some patients, says radiation oncologist Elizabeth M. Nichols, MD.
chief of radiation oncology at UM GCCC.
Patients lie down on the GammaPod's treatment
couch, with the breast placed into a patented,
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maryland’s Health Matters - UMMS - Fall 2018