GammaPod™, Present and Future of the Stereotactic Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer

Udine, March 4th – ASUFC introduces GammaPod™ to the Italian scientific community. This was also a chance to discuss what’s in store for breast radiotherapy treatments, starting from research and technology innovation.

Friday, March 4th was the day of GammaPodTM, the stereotactic radiotherapy system specifically designed for the treatment of breast cancer. It was presented to the Italian scientific community by the ASUFC of Udine, which has recently been recognized as the third centre in the world, the first in Italy and in Europe, to undertake a clinical experience with the new system for stereotactic radiotherapy of the breast.

This meeting, animated by about eighty participants and broadcasted live, provided a complete picture of a technology still unprecedented in our continent, outlined by the interventions of the various professionals who took the stage. Each of them presented the “GammaPodTM project” from a different point of view: from the physical-dosimetric aspects, to the strictly clinical ones, up to the details of the workflow for patient preparation.

Technological innovation and clinical protocols

This event was also an opportunity for an interesting discussion on the possible developments of clinical protocols for partial breast irradiation, according to the data emerging from recent scientific research and from the technological innovations introduced by GammaPodTM.
The perks offered by this system, in terms of high compliance of the radiation dose to the target with dreastically reducing the dose on healthy tissues, allow to redesign the breast treatment protocols, setting them on the delivery of the entire radiotherapy in very few sessions or even a single one, and lay the foundations for new possible treatment scenarios.
Patient benefits are no less, both clinically and socially. As stated by Dr. Marco Trovò, Director of the Complex Structure of Oncological Radiotherapy in Udine:

“The unique features of GammaPod™ allow for several benefits, both on the clinical level, and from a social/economic point of view.
Among the benefits that patients immediately experience is the time reduction of the overall treatment: instead of the traditional 4-6 weeks, GammaPod easily allows the entire treatment to be administered even in a single day. In our center, thanks to GammaPod, we treated the first patients with 3-5 fractions and then we went directly to the single fraction, to the enormous satisfaction of the patients.”

New possible treatment scenarios

In detail, Dr. Marco Trovò pitched three trial project opened by ASUFC, following the introduction of GammaPodTM.

  • The first trial involves a post-operative stereotactic radiosurgery protocol, based on a single fraction delivered with 18Gy GammaPodTM. The goal is the evaluation of acute and late toxicity.
  • The second one is a stereotactic Boost protocol based on a single fraction of 7.5Gy. This analysis shares the same goal as the first one: investigation on acute, moderate and severe toxicity.
  • The third and most promising trial in terms of expected results, is the pre-operative stereotactic radiosurgery protocolbased on a single fraction delivered with 30Gy GammaPodTM. This one aims to evaluate acute preoperative and late toxicity, two years after surgery; relevant data on the whole pathological response is also expected.
    Matter-of-factly this trial offers the enticing chance of mapping the pathological response pattern of stereotactic radiotherapy at radical doses, as well as an evaluation of a possible complete pathological response.

Moreover this would open to gathering solid data to add to a better understanding of the predictive value of imaging in relation to a possible complete pathological response. A fascinating hypothesis still to be explored due to the lack of current data, but which could really make room for interesting scenarios.