Glioblastoma, the most common type of brain cancer, is notoriously difficult to treat. Surgery and radiation are usually the first course of action, but the cancer often comes back. Now patients have a new option that is less invasive than surgery especially for hard-to-reach tumors and those that come back after initial surgery, called laser ablation.
After creating a dime-sized hole in the skull, the doctor threads a fiber optic cable into the area of the brain that contains the tumor with the help of a robotic device. Then he turns on a laser that heats the tumor until the cancer cells are killed.
Kevin Judy, MD, a Professor of Neurosurgery at Jefferson spoke with the Philadelphia Inquirer about the method and the promise it holds for patients. Although the technique is too new to really know how it compares to more traditional approaches, many experts in the field are excited about the option and say that the results they’ve seen so far “look promising.”