Albany Medical Center is Offering New Targeted Therapy for Brain Tumors

Albany Medical Center’s Dr. Alexandra Paul, pictured with Dr. Edward Farhangi, holds a GammaTile, a new tool used to deliver surgically targeted radiation therapy to brain tumors.
  • GammaTile is shown to slow brain tumor progression
  • Designed to improve patient and caregiver quality of life
  • Patients can begin receiving radiation treatment immediately without repeated appointments


An Albany Med Health System neurosurgeon is the first in the region to offer GammaTile Therapy, a novel approach to treating brain tumors. GammaTile Therapy is an FDA-cleared, surgically targeted radiation therapy that is designed to delay tumor regrowth for patients with brain tumors while protecting healthy brain tissue.

Alexandra Paul, MD, neurosurgeon at Albany Medical Center, part of the Albany Med Health System, is offering the treatment in coordination with Edward Farhangi, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Albany Medical Center.

The postage-stamp-sized GammaTile, which is embedded with small radiation sources, is implanted in the last five minutes of surgery to remove a brain tumor. The radiation immediately begins targeting tumor cells in the area where the tumor is most likely to recur. Over time and after the radiation has been delivered, the collagen tile naturally dissolves into the surrounding tissue. GammaTile Therapy is shown to improve local tumor control, which can extend a patient’s life.

Additionally, GammaTile is highly targeted. While a therapeutic dose is delivered to the area most likely to have a recurrence, healthy tissue is spared. As a result, most patients avoid losing their hair during treatment.

The previous standard of care for patients with operable brain tumors is surgical removal of the tumor followed by adjuvant therapy, including radiation and chemotherapy. Traditional radiation is delivered in as many as 30 treatments extending over a period of several weeks, causing a substantial burden of treatment for patients and their caregivers alike.

“The addition of GammaTile to our arsenal of treatments for brain tumors reaffirms the Albany Med Health System’s commitment to offering the most innovative and advanced treatments for brain tumors,” said Dr. Paul. “We’re pleased to be able to offer our patients another treatment option after receiving a difficult brain tumor diagnosis.”

“With GammaTile, patients begin receiving radiation immediately following placement and continue to receive treatment as they go about their daily lives, thereby decreasing the burdens of repeated appointments and improving the quality of both the patient’s and the caregiver’s lives,” said Dr. Farhangi.

More than 200,000 patients are diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in the U.S. each year. Aggressive brain tumors tend to be resistant to standard treatments and have a high likelihood of recurrence. GammaTile may be appropriate for patients with newly diagnosed malignant brain tumors and recurrent brain tumors, including gliomas, glioblastomas, meningiomas, and brain metastases.

For more information, interested patients and providers should call Albany Medical Center’s Department of Neurosurgery at 518-262-5088.