Cool use of technology - lasers and cancer treatment

From the UK Telegraph:

French surgeons destroy brain tumour on conscious patient in world first
French brain surgeons have conducted a world first by destroying a brain tumour on a conscious patient using keyhole laser surgery, it has emerged.

The team from Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris drilled a 3mm hole into the skull of a patient under local anaesthetic, inserting a tiny fibre-optic cable armed with a laser.

The doctors were then able to "see" the metastatic tumour and steer the cable thanks to a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, which uses magnetic and radio waves.

Once inside the skull, they carried out a computer simulation of the treatment. Then they activated the laser, which heated and killed the tumour tissue for up to two minutes. The MRI scan allowed them to modify the exact energy output needed from the laser.

The patient remained wide awake throughout and was said to have felt nothing. Once all the cancer cells were dead, the cable was removed and the patient allowed to return home the same day.

I'm surprised to see that this has not been done before -- we have had the technology for at least ten years. Cool idea though!

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on August 29, 2008 6:23 PM.

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