The role of magnetic resonance-guided laser ablation in neurooncology

Christopher Banerjee, Brian Snelling, Michael H. Berger, Ashish Shah, Michael E. Ivan, Ricardo J. Komotar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Introduction. The use of magnetic resonance-guided laser-induced thermal therapy (MR-LITT) as a minimally invasive method of treating intra-cranial pathology is a rapidly growing field. The use of MR-LITT in neurooncology has shown promising results; however, there has been no review to date of the current literature. Methods. A review of the published literature regarding MR-LITT in neurooncology was performed. Studies on PubMed were included if at least one patient with a cerebral tumour or radiation necrosis was treated using quantitative MR thermography-guided LITT, as well as if either safety or outcomes were discussed. Results. In treating recurrent Grade-III and -IV gliomas, we found improved median overall survival of 20.9 months from diagnosis of recurrence, which is comparable with that of 18.9 months for high-dose-rate brachytherapy and 24.4 months for repeated open surgery. Median progression-free survival (PFS) of recurrent glioma is noted to be 4.5 months. For metastatic lesions, we found a median overall survival (OS) to vary between 9.0 and 19.8 months with a PFS between 3.8 and 8.5 months. Current literature reports median OS in similar patients to lie between 7.0 and 28.6 months. Severe complication rates (with permanent deficits) are found to be between 12 and 16.7%, comparable with 11% found in literature for open surgery. Conclusions. The current literature shows that MR-LITT is safe and shows promising local tumour control rates. Larger randomised studies are warranted to further investigate this adjuvant therapy in the treatment of recurrent high-grade gliomas and metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-196
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Brain tumours
  • Laser-induced thermotherapy
  • Minimally invasive neurosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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