Imagine if there existed a technology to treat deep seated brain lesions or tumors using minimally invasive neurosurgery… lesions that would otherwise be deemed inoperable… Amazing, right?! Well this novel technology exists & it’s called AutoLITT or Focused Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy.
Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)…
AutoLITT (created by Monteris Medical) literally cooks brain tumors from the inside out. A thin probe is inserted into a tumor through a small hole in the skull. This minimally invasive method takes place inside an MRI and gives a pain-free alternative to traditional open surgery. The tip of the probe emits laser energy that lasts from 30 seconds to a few minutes. The laser generates heat up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (WOW that’s hot). The surgeon literally steers the heat to the tumor tissue and can monitor the tumor destruction as it occurs. Since the laser is precisely targeted, surrounding tissue remains healthy.
AutoLITT has minimal side effects; promotes a less painful & quicker recovery time (typical hospital stay is only 1-2 days); may allow for multiple treatments; has potential to help patients whose tumors had been considered too risky to treat or did not respond to alternate treatments or who otherwise had been deemed poor candidates for surgery; offers a therapeutic option when radiosurgery fails; and it’s less costly than traditional brain surgery.
THE BOTTOMLINE: The AutoLITT system offers hope to brain tumor patients whose treatment options were previously limited.
Only a few select cancer centers in the country have this technology including Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Case Medical Center. University of Miami expects to offer AutoLITT by winter, 2012 (where my very favorite Neurosurgeon Dr. Rick Komotar will be setting up shop in August.)