Gliasite is a form of intracavitary brachytherapy where a balloon catheter is introduced into the brain and inflated with a radioactive Iodine-125 solution. Radiation is delivered locally to the surrounding brain treating primary, recurrent or metastatic tumors.
The Gliasite catheter is actually a dual balloon system. The inner balloon acts as a reservoir for the radioactive Iodine-125 (Iotrex) solution. The outer balloon is not used but ensures that the radioactive solution is not released if the inner balloon is compromised.
Gliasite Balloon Catheter and Iodine Solution
How is Gliasite Therapy Performed?
At the time of surgery, the Gliasite balloon is placed by the Neurosurgeon within the resection cavity of a primary, recurrent or metastatic brain tumor. The injection port is affixed to the top of the skull concealed under the skin.
A patient with a Gliasite Catheter
After the patient recovers from surgery, a pre-determined amount of radioactive Iodine-125 liquid is injected into the balloon. Instillation (and removal) of the Iodine-125 solution is performed in the HDR Brachytherapy Suite in the Radiation Oncology Clinic.
Treatment is delivered over 3-7 days as an outpatient. At the end of treatment, the Iodine solution is removed and the patient is discharged to home.
Dr. Kevin Murphy, Chief of the Brain Tumor Service, has considerable expertise in Gliasite. Together with John Alksne, M.D. (Neurosurgery), Dr. Murphy runs the Joint Neurosurgery/Radiation Oncology Clinic held on Tuesday Mornings.