Tampa General Hospital Offers New Treatment for Recurrent Brain Cancer to Improve Quality of Life

Published: Jul 8, 2022

Surgically targeted radiation therapy inside the brain offers treatment for recurrent cancer following tumor removal.


Tampa, FL (July 8, 2022) – Tampa General Hospital and USF Health Morsani College of Medicine physicians are the first in Hillsborough County to bring patients experiencing recurring brain tumors a groundbreaking treatment.

Known as GammaTile, the FDA-cleared procedure places a bio-resorbable collagen tile the size of a postage stamp in the tumor site, immediately following surgery to remove the tumor. The procedure slows the progression of a returning brain tumor by immediately targeting residual tumor cells with precise gamma ray doses before those cells can significantly replicate.

Every year in the United States, more than 200,000 people are diagnosed with aggressive brain tumors that spread rapidly, build resistance to some treatments and are often fatal. Surgical re-section, chemotherapy and radiation treatment have been the traditional approaches to combating these brain tumors such as glioblastomas, gliomas, and meningiomas.

GammaTile at Tampa General offers a potentially life-prolonging option when traditional methods, including chemotherapy and radiation, fail to stop the recurrence of aggressive brain cancers. Many patients with recurrent brain tumors have received levels of radiation therapy that make the risk of additional exposure outweigh the potential benefits of more treatment. As a result, these patients are left with surgery as their only option. Unfortunately, tumor-removal surgery alone is rarely enough to prevent the growth of residual cancer cells.

“GammaTile starts targeting any recurring tumor cells immediately upon placement,” said Dr. Richard Tuli, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, chief of radiation oncology at Tampa General and deputy director of the TGH Cancer Institute. “With traditional treatments, patients often had to wait for their surgical wounds to heal before undergoing radiation. Additionally, their treatment likely required multiple visits to receive the recommended dose. GammaTile allows for potentially life-saving radiation treatments to begin as soon as their surgery is complete. The introduction of this treatment is yet another example of the kind of innovation and multidisciplinary care that patients can expect from the TGH Cancer Institute.”

In clinical trials, patients treated with GammaTile therapy required no additional trips to the hospital or clinic and could go about their daily lives. The tile is insulated except for a small area that allows the targeted dose to focus on the site most likely to have a recurrence, which spares healthy tissue and can limit such side effects as hair loss. The tile dissolves harmlessly, so no further surgery is required to remove it.

“By working as a team, neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists can employ this innovative treatment for recurring brain cancer right in the operating room, providing patients with a better quality of life,” said Dr. Harry van Loveren, medical director of Neurosurgery at Tampa General and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “This is a true multidisciplinary approach that takes the whole patient into account and gives each patient an opportunity to continue fighting brain cancer.”

For more information about GammaTile and other innovative radiation oncology treatments offered at the TGH Cancer Institute, call 813-844-3903 or go to https://www.tgh.org/institutes-and-services/cancer-institute.



Tampa General Hospital, a 1,041-bed, not-for-profit, academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Hospitals, and one of the top four hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. Tampa General Hospital has been designated as a model of excellence by the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious 2021 Forbes magazine rankings – America’s Best Employers by State, third out of 100 Florida companies and first among health care and social organizations, and 13th nationally in America’s Best Employers for Women. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal year 2020, provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education, and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With six medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health, and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay area residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.

About USF Health
USF Health's mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the Taneja College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, and USF Health’s multispecialtyphysiciansgroup.The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. For more information, visit