UofL neurosurgeons now providing robotic laser therapy for brain tumors, lesions

UofL neurosurgeons now providing robotic laser therapy for brain tumors, lesions

Laser can help remove some lesions that were once considered inoperable
UofL neurosurgeons now providing robotic laser therapy for brain tumors, lesions

Neurosurgeons with UofL now provide minimally invasive, image-guided laser therapy with the NeuroBlate system.

Two University of Louisville neurosurgeons are now providing image-guided laser technology to help patients with brain tumors and lesions. According to the National Brain Tumor Society, more than 688,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor. In the past, some tumors were considered too difficult to reach. However, the minimally invasive NeuroBlate laser is now allowing neurosurgeons to remove tumors and lesions that would traditionally be considered inoperable.

NeuroBlate laser therapy can be precisely controlled to kill abnormal tissue while doing as little harm as possible to surrounding healthy tissue. It also can be used in patients who have lesions in areas of the brain that are difficult to access by traditional open surgery without harming essential functions like speech, vision and muscle control. The procedure is performed at Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health.

The NeuroBlate® System from Monteris Medical® is a robotic laser technology that uses real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to precisely guide a laser probe. The laser applies heat to the growth, in controlled amounts, until the diseased tissue is destroyed. It can be used on tumors and lesions in many locations in the brain, near the surface or deep inside.

Neurosurgeons performing the procedure are Joseph S. Neimat, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Brian J. Williams, M.D., assistant professor and director of the Brain Tumor Program. Both practice with University of Louisville Physicians.

“The procedure is performed while the patient is in an MRI machine, so physicians can see the lesion and surrounding healthy tissue to apply laser energy where it is needed. The temperature of nearby healthy tissue is monitored to help ensure that it is protected as much as possible,” Neimat said. “We are thrilled to have this technology at our fingertips, to be able to help more people suffering from brain tumors and lesions.”

“Laser interstitial thermal therapy or ‘LITT’ offers patients suffering from difficult-to-access or recurrent brain tumors a minimally invasive option for local treatment of their disease,” Williams said. “Because the recovery is quite a bit quicker than with traditional open surgery, patients are able to expeditiously move on to radiation and chemotherapy.”

Rather than making a large opening in the skull, the NeuroBlate laser technology requires just a small hole, about the diameter of a pencil. The procedure is considered minimally invasive surgery, a type of procedure that generally involves less pain, discomfort and scarring than traditional surgery, and allows patients to go home and resume normal activity sooner.

The NeuroBlate System was cleared by the FDA in April 2013 and is in use at more than 20 of the nation's leading health care institutions. It also was licensed by Health Canada in September 2014 as the first and only minimally invasive robotic laser thermal therapy tool available in that country.

Patients seeking appointments with Neimat and Williams should contact UofL Physicians-Neurosurgery at 502-588-6000.

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Risk Statement about the NeuroBlate® System
As with any surgical procedure, the NeuroBlate System involves some risks. The technology is not appropriate for every lesion type and location. For example, it may be difficult to use the technology on certain large or irregularly shaped tumors. Certain placements of the laser probe into the brain, or too much heat applied, may cause bleeding or permanent brain damage. Some patients have temporary swelling after the procedure that may cause short-term abnormal brain or nervous system function. Any medical situation, including NeuroBlate, which requires a patient to stay still for long periods can cause dangerous blood clots (deep venous thrombosis). Talk to your physician about the risks of the procedure.


About Monteris Medical®
Monteris Medical (Plymouth, Minn.) is a privately held company developing devices for minimally-invasive, MR-guided neurosurgery. Monteris markets the NeuroBlate® System for controlled, volumetric ablation of brain lesions. Monteris also offers the various Stereotactic anchoring devices for image-guided trajectory alignment, and the AtamA™ Stabilization System for MR-based procedures requiring versatile head fixation. For more information on Monteris Medical, visit www.Monteris.com or the company’s patient information site www.MyBrainSurgeryOptions.com.

About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including, hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved.  The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.