Laser Ablation Shows Benefit for Tumors Near the Spine

Washington, DC — The use of a magnetic resonance (MR)–guided laser ablation technique shows success as a minimally invasive alternative to separation surgery in high-grade malignant spinal cord compression, a new study on the technique suggests.

“This is a good, minimally invasive alternative to surgery for patients with a high surgical risk,” said Claudo Tatsui, MD, a neurosurgeon with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, in presenting the findings here at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) 83rd Annual Meeting.

Whereas spinal metastases are typically managed with invasive, open surgery to remove the epidural tumor, followed by stereotactic spinal radiosurgery (SSRS), laser interstitial thermotherapy represents a potentially useful alternative.

“Instead of opening the space and performing an extensive surgery, we are proposing interstitial laser therapy, applying the laser in the space close to the junction of the tumor and the spine and monitoring the temperature with magnetic resonance thermometry,” Dr Tatsui explained.


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