With a five-year,
"This significant, highly competitive award from the
The system will use a robot designed to work within the bore of an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner to precisely guide a probe through a dime-sized opening in the cranium to the tumor with the aid of real-time MRI images. The probe will destroy the tumor by heating it with interstitial high-intensity focused ultrasound (iHIFU). Developed by industry collaborator
"For surgeries that require precise knowledge of the location of structures and tumors in the body, real-time MRI imagery is invaluable," Fischer said. "Once a hole is made in the skull, for example, the brain may swell and shift, and even images acquired just prior to the surgery will no longer be accurate. Live images enable real-time control and a high degree of accuracy."
Currently, patients diagnosed with brain tumors typically face one of two courses of treatment, both of which have important limitations. Stereotactic radiation surgery, in which a radiation beam is focused on the tumor, is noninvasive and can increase survival, but it may take multiple treatments to relieve symptoms and it is difficult to confirm that the tumor has been destroyed. Open-brain surgery provides quick relief of symptoms and tissue samples for lab testing, but it is highly invasive and can lead to serious complications.
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