Working in partnership with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, BrachyThermix is developing a medical device that will provide simultaneous and uniform heat and radiation treatment of a brain tumor bed following surgical resection. Our initial target is glioblastoma, an aggressive and deadly brain tumor. In a clinical trial of human glioblastomas, it was shown that non-uniform heating followed by radiation doubled the 2-year survival rate. In vivo studies have shown that the maximum synergy has been demonstrated when heat and radiation are applied simultaneously.
We are developing a balloon device to be placed in the resection cavity at the time of surgery. After post-surgical imaging, the balloon will be filled with magnetic nanoparticles which can heat the surrounding brain tissue when excited by an externally applied magnetic field. During heating, radiation will be delivered to the center of the balloon by a computer controlled afterloader, a medical device commonly found in cancer centers. We anticipate that the course of therapy will take 2-5 days as opposed to many weeks for other forms of radiation therapy and thus be preferable to many patients. Based on previous results, we expect this simultaneous heat and radiation treatment will improve survival in this deadly cancer.