A Swiss Team Uses Transcranial Mr-guided Focused Ultrasound To Treat Patients W

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14th July 2009, 09:07pm - Views: 1421

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A Swiss Team Uses Transcranial MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound to Treat Patients

With Functional Brain Disorders

TIRAT CARMEL, July 14 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --


    - Ten-Patient Feasibility Study Shows Safety and Potential for 

Non-Invasive Deep Brain Ablation


    InSightec Ltd. today announced that a team at the University

Children's Hospital Zurich has completed a feasibility study testing the use

of non-invasive transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS)

for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Ten adult patients diagnosed with

chronic neuropathic pain successfully underwent non-invasive deep brain

ablation surgery (central lateral thalamotomy) with transcranial MRgFUS and

showed improvement in pain scores and reduction of pain medication with no

adverse effects at three months follow-up. This is the first study in the

world to test non-invasive transcranial focused ultrasound as a treatment

modality for functional brain disorders.

    "This study showed that we can perform successful operations

in the depth of the brain without opening the cranium or physically

penetrating the brain with medical tools, something that appeared to be

unimaginable only a few years ago," said Daniel Jeanmonod, neurosurgeon at

the University of Zurich. "By eliminating any physical penetration into the

brain, we hope to duplicate the therapeutic effects of invasive deep brain

ablation without the side effects for a wider group of patients."

    Neurosurgeons currently treat patients with functional

neurological disorders such as neuropathic pain or Parkinson's disease by

inserting a tiny probe through the cranium and brain to reach and ablate

damaged tissue.

    "The more traditional invasive treatment works to alleviate

pain and other symptoms, however it exposes the patient to complications,

including infections, bleeding and damage to surrounding brain tissue," Dr.

Jeanmonod explained. "Also, only patients whose target tissue lies in the

clear path of the probe are eligible for the invasive procedure," he said.

    "We now have early clinical evidence suggesting that

transcranial MRgFUS provides a safe and effective way to non-invasively

ablate tissue deep within the brain," said Ernst Martin, M.D., Director of

the Magnetic Resonance Center at the University Children's Hospital Zurich.

"While we need to monitor these patients further, we are very encouraged by

the results to date and look forward to continuing our research. A

non-invasive treatment that reduces the risk of infection and bleeding will

fill an unmet need for many patients who currently have run out of treatment

options or are unwilling to undergo invasive brain surgery because of the

risks associated with it."

    One patient in the study suffered nerve damage from a spinal

tumor that led to severe pain and cramps in his right arm. The pain persisted

for years and the patient ultimately reported depression and suicidal

thoughts because of his condition. Immediately after receiving transcranial

Science Information Technology InSightec Ltd 2 image

MRgFUS treatment on his brain, he reported that the pain had disappeared. A

short time later he was able to resume normal activities that his neuropathic

pain had prevented him from doing, such as gardening and outings in the

country with his family.

    The Swiss research team is planning a larger study for

functional brain disorders and expands its clinical research to movement

disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and tremor, and to other functional

neurological disorders later this year. Additional sites in North America are

also expected to initiate clinical research programs in functional brain

disorders with transcranial MRgFUS later this year.

    About ExAblate(R) 4000

    ExAblate is the first system to use the MR guided focused

ultrasound technology that combines MRI - to visualize the body anatomy, plan

the treatment and monitor treatment outcome in real time - and high intensity

focused ultrasound to target brain tissue non-invasively. MR thermometry

allows the physician to control and adjust the treatment in real time to

ensure that the targeted area is fully treated and surrounding tissue is

spared. The ExAblate 4000 is a platform for a variety of transcranial

indications, such as brain tumors, functional neurosurgery, stroke and

targeted drug delivery.

    The ExAblate(R) 2000, based on the same technology, was

approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004 as a treatment for

symptomatic uterine fibroids. 5,000 women have been treated worldwide to

date. ExAblate 2000 received the European CE Mark certification for pain

palliation of bone metastases in June 2007.

    About InSightec

    InSightec Ltd. is a privately held company owned by Elbit

Imaging, General Electric, MediTech Advisors, LLC and employees. It was

founded in 1999 to develop the breakthrough MR guided Focused Ultrasound

technology and transform it into the next generation operating room.

Headquartered near Haifa, Israel, the company has over 160 employees and has

invested more than $150 million in research, development, and clinical

investigations. Its U.S. headquarters are located in Dallas, Texas. For more

      For more information, read the article

tml) which appeared in the Neue Zurcher Zeitung. (Due to the length of this

URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink into your Internet

browser's URL address field. Remove the space if one exists.) 


    Media Contact:


    Hollister Hovey

    Lazar Partners



    SOURCE: InSightec Ltd



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