The Neurosurgery department of Nicklaus Children's Hospital performed groundbreaking research focusing on the incision-less treatment of brain tumors. The neurosurgery team, consisting of Dr. Martytery Fajardo, Dr. Shelly Wang, and Dr. John Ragheb, began using Magnetic resonance (MR) guided focused ultrasound to locate treatable brain tumors. This technique was put into practice in 2017 and was used to treat benign intracranial tumors in children and young adults. Since then, there have been five patients who have successfully undergone the procedure. After the procedures were completed, patients reported decreased seizures and reduced symptoms.
The procedure is performed in an MRI suite where high-intensity ultrasound waves target and destroy the localized brain tumor. MRI imaging allows the physician to visualize the patient's brain structure and allows for real-time monitoring. When both types of technology are used, surgeons can heat, target, and ultimately destroy the tumor without impacting healthy brain tissue. The MR Guided Focused ultrasound procedure is currently being offered to patients with benign hamartoma brain tumors, which are brain tumors of the hypothalamus. Even though hypothalamic hamartomas are rare, they can cause seizures and cognitive problems. These types of brain tumors are benign and form in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls the production and release of hormones. This technique offers a new wave of hope for the estimated 1 out of 200,000 children this condition affects worldwide.
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The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. “Hypothalamic Hamartoma.” Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 15 June 2018,
“Research on Revolutionary Technology for Incisionless Treatment of Brain Tumors.” Research on Revolutionary Technology for Incisionless Treatment of Brain Tumors | Nicklaus Children's Hospital.