FDA approves new laser surgery for brain tumors

An MRI-guided laser surgery method, in investigational use at both The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, holds promise for thousands of brain tumor patients and has earned clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in neurosurgery.

The first applications of the technology are expected to be for the treatment of otherwise inoperable brain tumors.

The AutoLITT System uses an MRI-guided laser probe, passed through a small bur hole in the skull, to deliver laser interstitial thermal therapy ("LITT") to heat and coagulate the tumor from the inside. High-intensity laser energy is applied directly to the tumor, rather than passing through normal tissue, while the MRI measures the temperature inside the brain, showing thermal damage as it happens and facilitating precise control of the treatment. Once coagulated, the treated tumor mass is dead.


"The AutoLITT procedure delivers new-found hope for patients who have previously been given limited options in the treatment of their tumors," explains James Duncan, president and CEO of Monteris Medical, the AutoLITT manufacturer. The system offers a potential option for patients with tumors that are too difficult or too risky to treat, tumors that don't respond to other treatments, and tumors in patients that are otherwise not good candidates for surgery or radiosurgery.


  1. andy andy United States says:

    This procedure has been available for some time with the Visualase laser technology. Physicians have used Visualase on many tumors, including brain tumors. Go to www.visualaseinc.com for more information.

  2. Norm Norm United States says:

    3 Weeks ago my grand daughter 10yr old was found to have a Medulloblastoma tumor deep in her brain stem  and this is  one option that Robert Wood Johnson Hosp in New Brunswick NJ has given us to get it out.   They say it has never been done on a young patient and she would be the first.   Is there any one out there that could give us any hope with having it done this way  We will have to make the decision some time next week  It is 8/20/10 as i write this    

  3. Kate Kate United States says:

    What do you think of using laser surgery on the brain of Sturge Weber patients, as it is used on their faces?  Could this help seal off the ends of the capilaries, prevent brain damage?

  4. Norm Norm United States says:

    On Sept 6th grand daughter had the laser surgery done see news report www.nj.com/.../howell_girl_is_first_child_in.html

    It is now 11/23/10 and she finished first step of radiation & chemo  MRI showed no growth so far.   She will start chemo again Jan 2ed 2011  will stay in hospital 4 days and return in 21 days for 6 treatments.

    She has had to have blood & shots to keep up red & white cells is now off steroids  but has no apatite and does not want to eat There is bumps in the road but she is strong and will make it. She has kept up with her school work.

  5. Norm Norm United States says:

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011 4:13 PM, EST

    Just received a call from her neurosurgeon, Dr. Danish.at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital He said that the MRI looks beautiful! "The tumor is shrinking and looks like a dead ball of cells." Since we are on uncharted territory he wants another MRI in 3 months!!! Woo hoo!!!!

  6. Tomy Jones Tomy Jones United States says:

    I have a brian tumor had radiation done several years ago which cause seviare nerve damage family doctor was reomending for surgery but he moved to another state. Now I AM looking for help with getting referal for surgery please help in alot of pain thank you.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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