For the very first time, Swiss researchers have successfully treated a part of a recurring glioma tumor non-invasively using focused sound waves.
The procedure was conducted at the Focused Ultrasound Center of University Children's Hospital using InSightec's Exablate Neuro system.
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.
Lead researcher Javier Fandino said that the patient was awake and responsive during the treatment, and his team was able to successfully target and destroy a part of the tumor located deep within the patient's brain.
Another researcher Ernst Martin said that the ability of focused ultrasound to accomplish both small lesions for functional neurosurgery as well as bulk lesions for tumor ablation is amazing.
There is an urgent need for new approaches to treating brain tumors. 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.