About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

World First: Lasers Used in Keyhole Surgery to Treat Brain Tumor

by VR Sreeraman on August 30, 2008 at 12:33 PM
Font : A-A+

 World First: Lasers Used in Keyhole Surgery to Treat Brain Tumor

In a ground-breaking advance, French neurosurgeons on Friday said they had successfully treated brain tumours through ultra-keyhole surgery, using a tiny fibre-optic laser to destroy cancerous cells.

Alexandre Carpentier of the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris said the exploit was "a world-first" in its use of multiple advanced techniques and of local anaesthesia rather than general sedation.


So far, eight volunteers have been treated in the pilot programme, launched December 2006, Carpentier told AFP.

"They were suffering from metastasing brain tumours caused by various cancers, mainly lung and breast cancer that failed to respond to conventional treatment and were otherwise inoperable," he said.

Doctors had given the volunteers only three months left to live, on average.

Under the pioneering technique, a minute hole three millimetres (0.12 of an inch) wide was drilled into the skull, allowing the surgeon to introduce a water-cooled fibre-optic laser into the brain.

The device was gently guided towards the tumour area with the help of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.

Every three seconds, a computer workstation calculated the temperature at the area being burned by the laser to ensure that there was no dangerous overheating and to confirm that only tumorous cells were being destroyed.

The patient received only a local anaesthetic, remaining conscious in order to be able to speak to the medical team to help verify that cerebral functions were not being harmed.

However, "the patients feels nothing during the operation and generally can leave hospital 14 hours later, the evening or the morning after the operation," the surgeon said.

The results are "conclusive," said Carpentier.

Treating the patients completely requires two or more bouts of surgery, and there had been no cases of cerebral bruising or epilepsy.

So far, six of the eight have completed the full programme. Of the six, five have not had a relapse -- a return of cancerous cells to the brain -- at a nine-month monitoring point.

"This is the first time that laser technology has been used intracranially, meaning inside an enclosed skull, using MRI in real time to avoid collateral damage," said Carpentier.

"This is the forerunner of future techniques in which MRI will play a core intervention role in neurosurgery."

The pilot trial, reported in the latest issue of the US journal Neurosurgery, was carried out under the supervision of the French Health Products Safety Agency (Afssaps).

It drew on advanced technology supplied by the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and a Texan company, BioTex Inc., which specialises in the use of lasers for medical therapy.

Source: AFP

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Memory Loss - Can it be Recovered?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Brain Tumor Brain Tumors Brain Tumor Markers For Cancer Diagnosis and Prognosis Brain Facts Ataxia Language Areas in The Brain Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

Recommended Reading
Brain Tumor
Brain tumors are the abnormal growth of brain cells that may be benign or metastatic. Brain tumors ....
Know Your Nervous System
The Central nervous system consists of the brain, the spinal cord, and the body's nerve network. ......
Brilliant Human Brain - Animation
The most amazing and complex organ in the entire universe, the human brain continues to remain an .....
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Language Areas in The Brain
The mechanism of how human brain processes the language to express and comprehend the verbal, writte...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...
Tumor Markers For Cancer Diagnosis and Prognosis
An ideal tumor marker for a cancer should be specific to that cancer and not generate false positive...
Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a psychological measure of human intelligence. Regular physical and me...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use