Clinical Trial of New Radiation Therapy | News | Loyola Medicine
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Loyola Enrolling Brain Tumor Patients in Clinical Trial of a New Radiation Therapy

Illustration of brain injury
MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine is participating in a landmark clinical trial of a new radiation treatment for patients with glioblastoma multiform, a brain cancer with a high mortality rate.
After the tumor is removed, a high, focused dose of radiation is delivered directly to the tumor cavity to kill any microscopic cancer cells left behind. The treatment is called intraoperative radiotherapy, or IORT. (Intraoperative means during surgery.)
Loyola Medicine is the only center in Illinois participating in the international multicenter study. Loyola also is using IORT to treat a broad range of other cancers in clinical trials or as part of standard treatment. These cancers include breast, gynecological, head and neck, pancreatic, colorectal and bone cancers.
Glioblastoma is among the cancers with the highest mortality rates because in most patients, the cancer comes back after treatment. For patients ages 55 to 64, for example, the five-year survival rate is only 5 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. The standard treatment consists of surgery to remove as much of the tumor as can be done safely, followed by chemotherapy and 30 radiation sessions.
The study will determine whether IORT plus standard treatment for glioblastoma is more effective than standard treatment alone in preventing tumor regrowth. Fifty percent of the patients in the study will be randomly assigned to receive standard therapy. The other half will receive standard therapy plus IORT.
IORT is a multidisciplinary treatment that involves specialists including a neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist and medical physicist. Prior to surgery, the radiation oncologist and medical physicist perform detailed calculations to determine the precise radiation dose. After the neurosurgeon has removed the tumor, a spherical radiation device is placed in the tumor cavity. The device is turned on and x-ray radiation is applied for approximately 30 to 100 minutes. Because the radiation does not have to travel through healthy brain tissue to reach the site, much higher doses can be safely applied.
The study is known as a prospective, randomized, two-arm, open-label Phase 3 clinical trial. Radiation oncologist Abhishek Solanki, MD, is principal investigator for the Loyola site.
The study sponsor is University Medical Center Mannheim in Germany. It's titled, "A Multicenter, Randomized Phase III Study on Intraoperative Radiotherapy in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Multiforme (INTAGO II)."
The study is open to glioblastoma patients aged 18 to 80 who meet certain other criteria. For more information, contact Beth Chiappetta, RN, Loyola radiation oncology research coordinator, at 708-216-2568 or

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.