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Revolutionizing Brain Tumor Treatment

A brain tumor diagnosis is overwhelming under any condition; however it can be worse if surgery is not an option. When tumors are in difficult-to-reach brain areas or too close to areas that control vital functions, traditional surgery may be too risky or not an option. NeuroBlate provides a potentially life-extending surgical option for patients with brain tumors once considered inoperative. This technology allows surgeons to reach virtually anywhere in the brain and ablate the tumor while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed.

The NeuroBlate System is a combination of hardware, software and disposable surgical devices used with an existing MRI scanner. The integration of these devices allows the neurosurgeon to precisely direct an MRI compatible, gas cooled laser probe to a desired target, administer laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) and monitor thermal dose using real time MRI thermometry data. MRI scans produce detailed images of internal organs without using radiation. When NeuroBlate is combined with MRI, physicians can see and direct the progress of tumor destruction virtually real-time, improving the likelihood that tumors will be completely treated.

The tip of the NeuroBlate laser probe (dark line) is seen within a malignant brain tumor (highlighted in green) in these intraoperative MRI images of the brain.

Progression of the NeuroBlate procedure:
Left: The NeuroBlate probe is inserted into a malignant tumor in the brain's thalamus region.
Center: Stages of the tumor during treatment. A) Before treatment; B) as laser-directed heat "cooks" the tumor; C) after treatment.
Right: The brain within days or weeks of surgery, when the treated tumor shrinks as cancer cells die.

Using Laser-Directed Heat to Destroy Cancer Cells

Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) transmits heat to destroy, or "cook", brain tumors from the inside out. NeuroBlate allows the surgeon to direct and monitor the effects of the laser beam, thus sparing surrounding healthy tissue. This therapy is minimally invasive, unlike conventional open surgery. It takes place while the patient is in the MRI unit because the laser system is positioned, guided and monitored using MRI.

How NeuroBlate Works

Patients typically start in the surgical suite and are usually placed under general anesthesia. The neurosurgeon will do a burr-hole procedure and sometimes a tissue biopsy. After this, the patient moves to the MRI suite and is positioned on the MRI table. The surgeon will insert a thin, high-intensity laser probe through the small burr-hole deep into the brain. The tip of the probe emits laser energy sideways, heating and destroying brain tumor tissue in one direction while cooling to remove heat and protect normal tissue in neighboring areas. Each burst of laser energy lasts from 30 seconds to a few minutes. The laser generates heat up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which is sufficient to kill the tumor cells. The surgeon monitors the tumor destruction as it occurs, using a computer screen in MRI. He or she can remotely plan and control the procedure, steering heat directly to tumor tissue. An advance known as MRI thermometry measures temperature in and around the tumor, providing valuable, real-time feedback to the surgeon throughout the procedure. The hospital stay for patients having NeuroBlate is typically less days than for patients undergoing open cranial surgery and the surgeon makes this decision based on each patient's individual situation.

Patient Benefits

NeuroBlate offers hope to brain tumor patients who have been given limited treatment options or no options. This therapy has many benefits including:

  • Less invasive than even the most minimally invasive open cranial surgeries
  • Enhances patient safety
  • Faster recover times
  • Allows for multiple treatments
  • Provides an option for patients whose tumors are considered too risky to treat, who have tumors that did not respond to alternate treatments, or who are considered poor candidates for open surgery

NeuroBlate has been used to treat:

  • Recurrent Metastatic Brain Tumors
  • Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma
  • Radiation Necrosis
  • Focal Epilepsy
  • Other "inoperable" brain tumors

Comments from our Neurosurgeons

NeuroBlate has the potential to revolutionize brain tumor treatment at Kettering Health Network. It gives us options for patients who have very few or no options left and allows us to give them hope. We can potentially lengthen their lifespan and give them a higher quality of life for the time they do have. We can change the way we treat brain tumors with this technology and it opens up all sorts of doors we never had before.

For more info on NeuroBlate contact Marilyn Reed at 937.395.8206 or .

At The Neuroscience Institute at Kettering Health Network we're making great strides in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of brain and spine conditions affecting members of the Greater Dayton community and beyond. And we're making news too. From new team specialists, equipment, and services to awards and recognitions, program updates, and general information, this is the place to keep up with everything going on at The Neuroscience Institute at Kettering Health Network.