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New Study at Miami Cancer Institute Shows Significant Results for Patients with Metastatic Brain Cancer

MIAMI, April 21, 2022 – A new study, led by Dr. Rupesh Kotecha, radiation oncologist at Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, shares significant promising results for patients with metastatic brain cancer.

The study, published recently in the peer-reviewed medical journal Scientific Reports, shows that patients who were treated with a novel approach that first delivers high-dose focused RT only to the tumor – at least one day prior to surgery – followed by resection, yielded very high disease control rates. According to Dr. Kotecha, the innovative approach makes it easier for radiation oncologists to target and treat brain metastases, and, more importantly, results in less toxicity to the patient.

Dr. Kotecha has employed a treatment protocol since its founding five years ago that has proven surprisingly effective for metastatic brain cancer patients. “This study quantifies the benefits of our treatment approach and documents exactly how much RT can safely and effectively be delivered prior to resection for optimal results,” says Dr. Kotecha, the study’s principal investigator.

Dr. Kotecha and his team analyzed brain metastases samples collected over the past five years. Getting the samples was easy, he says: tissue samples collected during surgeries at Miami Cancer Institute are stored in the cancer center’s own onsite biorepository and are available to researchers for further analysis if needed.

According to Dr. Kotecha, Miami Cancer Institute has the state’s latest and most advanced software and hardware of the Gamma Knife. “We also have other technologies, such as the CyberKnife, which is also used for this radiosurgery. The Gamma Knife, a powerful form of stereotactic radiosurgery, allows radiation oncologists to harness multiple beans of cobalt radiation and deliver an intense, precisely targeted dose of radiation to tumor cells inside the brain while sparing healthy surrounding tissue of the brain. “Miami Cancer Institute is one of just five cancer centers in the world licensed to train and certify radiation oncologists to use this highly sophisticated and complex technology,” he says.

Dr. Kotecha says the new study is further validation of the work begun in 1991 by his colleague and mentor, Minesh Mehta, M.D., deputy director and chief of radiation oncology at Miami Cancer Institute. Dr. Mehta was also one of the authors of this study alongside Manmeet Ahluwalia, M.D., deputy director, chief scientific officer and chief of solid tumor medical oncology at the Institute.

Dr. Kotecha also worked closely with Vitaly Siomin, M.D., director of cerebral vascular surgery and co-director of skull base surgery at Baptist Health’s Miami Neuroscience Institute, as well as with neurosurgeon Michael W. McDermott, M.D., chief medical executive for Miami Neuroscience Institute, who performs these extremely delicate surgeries and who was instrumental in lining up leveraging our donor funding required for the study.

“For metastatic brain cancer patients, being able to go to a leading cancer center where you can get both radiosurgery and surgery performed by leading experts in the field is a huge advantage,” Dr. Kotecha says.

About Miami Cancer Institute

Miami Cancer Institute brings to South Florida access to personalized clinical treatments and comprehensive support services delivered with unparalleled compassion. No other cancer program in the region has the combination of cancer-fighting expertise and advanced technology—including the first proton therapy center in South Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean, and one of the only radiation oncology programs in the world with each of the newest radiation therapies in one place—to diagnose and deliver precise cancer treatments that achieve the best outcomes and improve the lives of cancer patients. The Institute offers an impressive roster of established community oncologists and renowned experts, clinical researchers and genomic scientists recruited from the nation’s top cancer centers. Selected as Florida’s only member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer (MSK) Alliance, Miami Cancer Institute is part of a meaningful clinical collaboration that affords patients in South Florida access to innovative treatments and ensures that the standards of care developed by their multidisciplinary disease management teams match those at MSK.

About Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/Newsroom and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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