Researchers in Zurich, Switzerland have successfully used focused ultrasound for the first time to non-invasively ablate part of a recurrent glioma tumor through a patient’s intact skull. The procedure was performed to assess the feasibility and safety of focused ultrasound in treating brain tumors; it was not intended to demonstrate efficacy. The procedure was conducted using InSightec's Exablate Neuro system.
"The patient was awake and responsive during the treatment, and we were able to successfully target and destroy a part of the tumour located deep within the patient's brain," said Javier Fandino, Professor of Neurosurgery at Kantonsspital Aarau, Switzerland.
"We are very encouraged that we could utilise focused ultrasound to accomplish this with no side effects or complications," said Fandino.
Focused ultrasound employs thousands of ultrasound beams that converge on a spot deep in the body.
At this focal point, the ultrasound can cause a variety of biological effects, and in this case, heat and destroy the cancerous tissue, researchers said.
"The ability of focused ultrasound to accomplish both small lesions for functional neurosurgery as well as bulk lesions for tumour ablation is amazing," said Ernst Martin, Professor of Neuroradiology, University Children's Hospital Zurich.
There is an urgent need for new approaches to treating brain tumours, researchers said.
With its ability to noninvasively and accurately target and destroy diseased areas while sparing healthy adjacent brain tissue, focused ultrasound could be the breakthrough that patients and physicians have been waiting for.
"Treatment of this patient is the first critical step in the path to developing a new, noninvasive approach for patients with brain tumours that could serve as an alternative to surgery or radiation therapy," said Neal F Kassell, Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.
"Additional clinical trials to prove safety and efficacy are required to translate this milestone into a treatment that could improve the quality of life and longevity for countless individuals," said Kassell.
The procedure was performed to assess the feasibility and safety of focused ultrasound in treating brain tumours and was not intended to demonstrate efficacy, researchers said.
Focused ultrasound is a revolutionary, early-stage therapeutic technology with the potential to transform the treatment of many serious medical disorders. This breakthrough technology uses ultrasonic energy guided by magnetic resonance or ultrasound imaging to treat tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. Multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound are directed and concentrated on a target as small as a grain of rice, much like a magnifying glass can focus multiple beams of light on a single point.
Source: Business Standard
Image Xourtesy: Getty Images
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