Study Confirms Benefits of Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy


A prospective, multi-center clinical study of 42 patients with brain lesions that recurred after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for metastatic brain tumors showed positive outcomes for laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT).  

The results of the LAASR (NCT01651078) trial, conducted by leading academic medical centers, are published in the Journal of Neurosurgery. The recurring lesions, ranging in size from 0.4 cm to 38.6 cm, were ablated with the Monteris Medical NeuroBlate System, an MRI-guided laser ablation tool for brain lesions, including brain tumors and epileptic foci. 

There were no unanticipated adverse events related to the device. Neurologic complications from LITT appeared in 12% of patients and included intracerebral hemorrhage, headache, and new or worsened neurologic deficits such as motor weakness. 

The primary outcomes of LAASR, progression-free survival (74% at 12-26 weeks) and overall survival (72% at 26 weeks), showed that LITT can be effective in controlling recurrent brain metastases and radiation necrosis. Also, the trial revealed possible patient benefits, including stable quality of life, cognitive function, reduced or eliminated steroid usage, and shorter length of hospital stay. 

Manmeet Ahluwalia, MD, co-principal investigator at the Cleveland Clinic Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center, said, “SRS is an effective first-line treatment for patients with metastatic brain cancer. However, for patients with recurrent disease that may not be appropriate for additional SRS or surgical resection, the LAASR study results indicate that LITT can be an effective option.”


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