TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — More than 200,000 people nationwide are diagnosed with aggressive brain tumors every year. Now a treatment the size of a postage stamp is helping save lives.
The small collagen squares are called Gamma Tiles. Surgeons at Tampa General Hospital position them to cover the area where a tumor was eliminated during removal surgery. For many patients, aggressive brain tumors will repeatedly return after being surgically removed.
“It’s one extra step. It takes a few extra minutes to place these tiles at the time of surgery and then they’re done,” said Nurse Practitioner Tracy Casas.
The collagen tiles emit radiation internally for about a month to treat any cancerous cells left behind. That allows patients to avoid having to return after surgery for treatments like radiation so they can instead focus on healing.
“They’re already recovering from a brain surgery, so their recovery time is not prolonged by any time at all,” Casas said.
The tiles dissolve over time so there’s no additional surgery needed to remove them. Tampa General is one of about 80 hospitals nationwide currently offering the FDA approved therapy.