Demonstration of a minimally invasive tissue ablation technique for brain tumours using non-thermal picosecond lasers, stereotactic localization and application techniques, and on-line assessment of blood-vessels and tumor borders with confocal and fluorescent microscopy as well as MR and ultrasonic monitoring.
Stereotactic ablation of tumor tissue using thin laser probes has not been feasible so far. Picosecond lasers of different energies have been developed which enable to ablate tissue with highest precision (in the range of micrometers) and without generation of significant temperature rises. These advantages can be fully exploited, if thin probes are used, which are guided stereotactically. A laser probe, 5.5 mm in diameter, has been developed for computer-guided picosecond laser ablation of tumor tissue, confocal and fluorescent microscopy as well as continuous aspiration and irrigation, performed under automatically controlled fluid pressure. The risk of hemorrhage is minimized by visualization of blood-vessels with confocal or fluorescent microscopy and eventual laser coagulation prior to tissue ablation
This technique is expected to significantly improve smoothness and benignity of operations on brain tumors by reducing the trauma to peritumoral tissue during both insertion of the laser probe and tissue ablation. The spectrum of inoperable brain tumors should become considerably smaller.
Clinical side-effects, hospitalisation times, intensive care and rehabilitation treatments will be minimized. if successful use of this technique can be demonstrated. The project is planned in different stages (animal experiments, operations on selected, fully informed. Otherwise untreatable patients with radiation necrosis or malignant brain tumors). Feasibility and efficacy will be demonstrated to neurosurgeons, patients associations. health authorities and finally to commercial firms in each stage of the project.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
3000 Louvain / Leuven