The first-in-human study of the NeuroBlate™ Thermal Therapy System finds that it appears to provide a new, safe and minimally invasive procedure for treating recurrent glioblastoma (GBM), a malignant type of brain tumor. The study, which appears April 5 in the Journal of Neurosurgery online, was written by lead author Andrew Sloan, MD, Director of Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, who also served as co-Principal Investigator, as well as Principal Investigator Gene Barnett, MD, Director of the Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at Cleveland Clinic and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues from UH, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Clinic Florida, University of Manitoba and Case Western Reserve University.
NeuroBlate™ is a device that "cooks" brain tumors in a controlled fashion to destroy them. It uses a minimally invasive, MRI-guided laser system to coagulate, or heat and kill, brain tumors. The procedure is conducted in an MRI machine, enabling surgeons to plan, steer and see in real-time the device, the heat map of the area treated by the laser and the tumor tissue that has been coagulated.
"This technology is unique in that it allows the surgeon not only to precisely control where the treatment is delivered, but the ability to visualize the actual effect on the tissue as it is happening," said Dr. Sloan. "This enables the surgeon to adjust the treatment continuously as it is delivered, which increases precision in treating the cancer and avoiding surrounding healthy brain tissue."
The study was a Phase I clinical trial investigating the safety and performance of NeuroBlate™ (formerly known as AutoLITT™), a specially-designed laser probe system. The FDA gave the system's developer Monteris Medical and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, (comprised of the UH Case Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine), an investigatory device exemption (IDE) to study the system in patients with GBMs. The device has recently been cleared by the FDA due, in part, to the results of the study.
The paper describes the treatment of the first10 patients with this technology. These patients, who had a median age of 55, had tumors which were diagnosed to be inoperable or "high risk" for open surgical resection because of their location close to vital areas in the brain, or difficult to access with conventional surgery.
"Overall the NeuroBlate™ procedure was well-tolerated," said Dr. Sloan. "All 10 patients were alert and responsive within one to two hours post-operatively and nine out of the 10 patients were ambulatory within hours. Response and survival was also nearly 10 ½ months, better than expected for patients with such advanced disease."
"Previous attempts using less invasive approaches such as brachytherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery have proven ineffective in recent meta-analysis and randomized trials," said Dr. Barnett. "However, unlike therapies using ionizing radiation, NeuroBlate™ therapy results in tumor death at the time of the procedure. A larger national study will be developed, as a result of this initial success."
Dr. Sloan and Dr. Barnett are paid consultants for Monteris Medical and members of the company's Medical Advisory Board.
About the Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2007, there were 3.5 million outpatient visits to Cleveland Clinic and 50,455 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries. Cleveland Clinic's Web site address is http://www.clevelandclinic.org.
About University Hospitals
University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians. At the core of our health system is University Hospitals Case Medical Center. The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University. University Hospitals Case Medical Center is the 2012 recipient of the American Hospital Association - McKesson Quest for Quality Prize for its leadership and innovation in quality improvement and safety. For more information, go to http://www.uhhospitals.org
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