Laser brain cancer treatment may bring extra advantage

Printer Friendly

May 9, 2016

Neurosurgeons using lasers to treat brain cancer might have unveiled new treatment options for patients after discovering their technique breaks down the blood-brain barrier.

The blood-brain barrier shields the brain from toxins in the blood, but it also blocks potentially helpful chemotherapy drugs. The blood-brain barrier acts as a natural “security system.”

The study is now in a so-called Phase II clinical trial where the treatment is given to a larger group of people.

Laser technology has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 2009 as a surgical tool to treat brain tumors. A small laser-tipped probe heats up and kills tumors from the inside out.

In the trial, patients have been given a powerful chemotherapy drug that is known as one of the least likely to penetrate the blood-brain barrier after undergoing the laser therapy.

The research has yet to be published, but Dr. Eric Leuthard, a professor of neurosurgery at Washington University in St. Louis, told Reuters that the initial results are promising.

Click here to read the full article.