Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) has emerged as a potential tool in the armamentarium of neurosurgeons managing patients with deep-seated and difficult-to-access brain tumors. Advances in stereotactic neurosurgery coupled with neuroimaging tools have led to the resurgence of interest in laser therapy for a variety of neurosurgical indications. Stereotactic placement of laser probe using minimally invasive techniques and the ability to monitor the tissue ablation in real time using MR thermometry are two distinct advantages of LITT. Patients with recurrent gliobastoma multiforme (GBM) or newly diagnosed gliomas with significant medical comorbidities, radiation necrosis, radiosurgery-resistant brain metastasis and cancer-related pain pose significant challenges in the field of neuro-oncology. LITT offers an opportunity to obtain stereotactic biopsy and cytoreduction in a minimally invasive nature. In this chapter, we have described the current applications of LITT in neuro-oncology, including malignant gliomas, brain metastatic disease, radiation necrosis and other indications such as cancer-related pain and epilepsy. We have also described the principles, technical nuances and LITT systems currently available in the clinical practice. With growing interest and acceptance of LITT in neuro-oncology, we are likely to obtain high-quality evidence supporting the utility of this modality in patients with a variety of neuro-oncological conditions in the near future.
Part of the book: Neurooncology
Laser interstitial thermal therapy is a minimally invasive ablative technique that continues to gain popularity in treatment of a variety of intracranial and spinal disorders. In the field of neuro-oncology it continues to be used for treatment of a variety of intracranial neoplasms, including glioblastoma—the most common malignant primary brain tumor. Maximizing the extent of resection in patients with glioblastoma was shown to prolong patient survival. Many patients present, however, with tumors that are nonresectable due to proximity to eloquent cortical or subcortical areas, or involvement of deep brain structures. LITT procedure, on the other hand, is minimally invasive and involves placing a laser catheter under stereotactic guidance and monitoring the size of the lesion produced as a result of laser ablation using MR thermography in real time. Therefore, a number of studies explored the potential of laser ablation to accomplish significant cytoreduction and thus potentially improve patient’s outcomes and prolong survival. The following chapter will review the principles of laser ablation and its current role in treatment of glioblastoma.
Part of the book: Glioma