UT Southwestern Medical Center is home to the world’s second GammaPod, which delivers high doses of radiation to a targeted area for treating breast cancer. The technology allows patients to have fewer treatments in less time.
A CT scan reveals the tumor’s location, and the GammaPod uses vacuum suction like a breastfeeding pump that immobilizes the breast so that the radiation can target the cancer to within three millimeters without damaging healthy tissue. Radiation is administered while the patient is laying face-down, avoiding radiation that may penetrate the heart or lungs. Rather than the four to six weeks of treatment for normal radiation, the GammaPod only takes five 20 minute sessions in as many days.
“It’s going to be a great service to the community and offer a lot to women who are facing breast cancer with the busy lives that they have today,” said Dr. Asal Rahimi, an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Director of Clinical Research, and a breast cancer expert via releae. “Our mission is to try to provide very effective treatment in as little time as possible.”
Clinical trials continue for the Gamma Pod, which was developed at the University of Maryland. Dr. Rahimi co-chairs the GammaPod Consortium with a doctor from the University of Maryland.