Jersey Shore University Medical Center provides N.J.’s first GammaTile brain tumor treatment

Hackensack Meridian Neuroscience Institute at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune said it recently successfully performed the first GammaTile implant in the state.

The device was implanted in a patient with recurrent meningioma, a brain tumor, to deliver radiation immediately at the time of surgery, targeting residual cancer cells to help prevent recurrence while minimizing harm to healthy tissue.

John Pettenati, age 61, of Ringoes, is the first patient to receive GammaTile at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

“As a leading provider of cancer care in New Jersey, including the state’s premier cancer center, the John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack Meridian Health continues to provide patients with the latest treatments and therapies,” Robert Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, said. “GammaTile is a prime example of our teams bringing leading-edge medical advances to our community.”

Over 200,000 patients are diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in the U.S. each year. Aggressive brain tumors tend to be resistant to current treatments and have a high likelihood of recurrence.

“John became very interested in GammaTile when we discussed that its implantation would only take a few minutes at the end of his brain tumor removal surgery, and it would allow him to receive the radiation therapy he needed without commuting to a radiation outpatient clinic every day for several weeks,” Dr. Timothy Chen, medical director, CNS radiation oncology program at JSUMC, and medical director, proton therapy department of radiation oncology, Hackensack Meridian Health, said. “Given the larger size of his tumor and his previous exposure to radiation therapy, GammaTile will provide the benefits of limiting the surrounding normal brain tissue’s exposure to further radiation.”

Making up about 40% of all primary brain tumors in the U.S., meningiomas usually don’t show any signs, especially in its earlier stages. People with meningiomas might not feel anything wrong, and the tumor is often found incidentally, when doctors conduct tests for other health reasons.

Dr. Shabbar Danish, chair of neurosurgery, Hackensack Meridian Neuroscience Institute at JSUMC, performed the implantation immediately after removing the brain tumor.

“We focus on offering the best possible, leading-edge treatments and therapies to all our patients,” Danish said. “GammaTile offers a transformative solution by providing patients with effective radiation precisely at the same time of surgery. The ability to streamline patient care is invaluable to patients and their caretakers.”

The technology is the only FDA-cleared innovation in brain brachytherapy and was developed by GT Medical Technologies Inc., a medical device company dedicated to improving the lives of patients with brain tumors. To date, more than 1,200 patients have been successfully treated with GammaTile in the U.S.