The most challenging part of brain cancer that decreases the chances of survival is the inoperable tumors. Now a Hospital in the UK has come out with a technique that can help in removing inoperable tumors effectively.
Sheffield Children's Hospital have used new surgical technique called "Sat Nav" that uses an MRI scanner to visualize the tumor and monitor the brain precisely during the operation.
‘A new 'sat nav' operating technique for surgeons could double the chance of survival of brain cancer patients by removing tumors which were thought to be inoperable.’
Using this MRI scanner, doctors can remove only the tumor without damaging any healthy tissue, also, can check if they have removed the tumor completely.
Hesham Zaki, head of the department of pediatric neurosurgery, said, " The equipment puts the Sheffield hospital at the forefront of increasing survival rates from brain tumors in the UK and worldwide."
Zaki said, "The fact we can use the MRI scanner during the surgery is a real step-change. Just like a sat nav, it tells me where I need to go. We scan the patient that we are operating on with their skull still open and the operation still ongoing."
"The MRI images mean that we can be sure the tumor has been completely removed and nothing has been left behind before we finish the operation. This is important because some types of brain tumour can look like normal brain. This is a sea-change. Tumors that were inoperable can now be operated on," he added.
The MRI scan works along with a "brain lab" technology, which enables surgeons to pinpoint the exact location of a tumor in real time during the surgery. Then the doctors can use a medical probe or laser coming from the end of a microscope to "touch" tissue and tumor in the brain.
The location of different tissue is then shown up on a screen which has been loaded with MRI images from the patient. This enables surgeons to precisely work out where a tumor is and remove it without harming healthy tissue.
Mr. Zaki said, "Children's survival from brain tumors is almost entirely dependent on whether the surgeon is able to remove all of the tumor. Complete removal means there is a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of long-term survival. But if we leave some behind, this can drop to as low as 40 percent."
Surgeons have carried out another MRI during the operation to ensure all the tumor has been removed before the surgery ends. The hospital also has a new MRI suite for follow-up scans.