Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy as a Primary Treatment for Deep Inaccessible Gliomas

Ashish H. Shah, Joshua D. Burks, Simon S. Buttrick, Luca Debs, Michael E. Ivan, Ricardo J. Komotar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Treatment strategies for deep intracranial gliomas remain limited to stereotactic biopsy in many cases due to the morbidity of aggressive surgical resection. Since no cytoreductive therapy is offered, outcomes have been demonstrably poor compared to patients who are able to undergo primary surgical resection. OBJECTIVE: To present our practice, in an effort to reduce morbidity and still offer cytoreductive treatment, of offering the possibility of laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) for the primary treatment of intracranial deep gliomas that would be otherwise unamenable for resection. METHODS: From 2010 to 2017, 74 patients were identified from a single surgeon at a single tertiary care referral center who had been treated with LITT. We conducted an exploratory cohort study on patients (n=6) who have undergone contemporaneous biopsy and laser ablation for the treatment of deep gliomas with a mean tumor volume of 10.9 cc (range 4.2-52 cc). RESULTS: In our cohort, mean extent of ablation (EOA) was 98.5% on postoperative MRI; mean progression-free survival was 14.3 mo, and 5 patients (83%) remained alive at mean follow-up time of 19.7 mo without any complications. Additionally, there was a negative linear relationship between preoperative lesion size and EOA (P<.04) when analyzed with previously reported series. CONCLUSION: Although our series is small, we suggest that LITT can be a safe alternative cytoreductive therapy for deep surgically inaccessible gliomas. Given the known benefit of near gross total resection for high-grade gliomas, we believe LITT may improve survival for these patients and complement adjuvant treatments if patients are appropriately selected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-777
Number of pages10
JournalClinical neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Ablation
  • Deep
  • Glioma
  • Laser
  • Outcomes
  • Treatment
  • Volumetric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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