Laser Technology Allows Treatment Of High Risk Brain Tumors

Laser Technology Allows Treatment Of High Risk Brain Tumors

9 April 2013

Recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) could be now possible to treat in a safer and less invasive way by using a new device called NeuroBlate, the results from the first-in-man study have shown.

NeuroBlate is a device that heats and destroys brain tumors, using laser technology that coagulates, or "cooks" brain tumors from the inside out. The procedure takes place in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, which allows doctors to remotely plan and control the procedure, steering heat directly to the tumor and seeing in real-time the area treated, thus enabling surgeons to avoid the surrounding healthy tissue.

The study, which has been published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, describes the treatment of the first 10 patients with the NeuroBlate device. The patients who took part in the study, with a median age of 55, had brain tumors that were considered inoperable or too risky for traditional surgery as they were too close to areas that control vital functions or located in areas that are hard to reach with conventional open surgery.

Dr Andrew Sloan, who led the study, said that the NeuroBlate treatment was overall well-tolerated by the patients, who were all alert and responsive shortly after the procedure. Besides, nine of the patients were even able to stand up and walk within the first post-operative hours. Response and survival outcomes were also better than expected for patients with such advanced cancer, he added.

The study represents the Phase I clinical trial examining the safety and performance of the system. Its developer, Monteris Medical and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, which led the study, were given an investigatory device exemption (IDE) to use NeuroBlate to treat patients with GBMs by the FDA. Recently, the device, previously known as AutoLITT, was given the go ahead by the regulator, thanks, in part, to the results achieved in the study.