( Guidant Galileo System )

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a radiation therapy system called the Guidant Galileo that helps prevent the repeated narrowing of coronary arteries that have already undergone the procedure of stenting. Dr. Behar and Dr. King are presently providing this treatment at West Houston Medical Center.

The Galileo system is comprised of three parts: a centering catheter, a source wire and a source delivery unit. The centering catheter ensures that radiation is applied evenly within the artery during treatment. The devise automatically advances, retracts, stores and shields the radioactive source wire that provides the treatment. The source delivery unit automatically calculates the correct dose of radiation required. And, the actual radiation dose is confined to the artery itself with the patient only receiving a minute amount of radiation.

After proving successful in national clinical trials, the Guidant Galileo Intravascular Radiotherapy System was approved by the FDA to treat re-stenosis. Re-stenosis is the recurrence of blockage in a coronary artery that had been previously opened with a stent. This condition affects 30 percent of patients treated with coronary stents each year.

Although a narrowed stent can be reopened with another procedure, the likelihood of repetitive re-narrowing can be as high as 50 percent. By preventing the re-narrowing of arteries, patients can avoid open heart surgery, the only option after repeated unsuccessful angioplasties.

The Guidant Corporation, which manufactures the system, is a Houston-based company.

Before Radiotherapy

After Radiotherapy