Brain Tumors and Oncology

As an adjunct to traditional brain tumor surgical resection and/or decompression, new technologies may be applied such as Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) to first biopsy and ablate brain tumors. LITT is a procedure that does involve a small bone opening and insertion of the laser probe to a specified target and is typically performed with the patient asleep under general anesthesia in the MRI scanner. Rather than surgically removing a tumor, LITT can destroy and ablate a tumor using heat generated from a laser at the tip of a very thin probe. This minimally invasive procedure is performed through an incision about the width of a pencil's eraser and most patients are discharged home within 1 day.

Pre-clinical and research studies are underway in developing new drug delivery methods to brain tumors. One approach uses convection-enhanced delivery with pressure but also a novel methodology using electrokinetic transport (termed electrokinetic convection-enhanced delivery, ECED), which Dr. Faraji pioneered and has published on. ECED is currently being evaluated on research models to determine safety and efficacy prior to human clinical trials. This work is being conducted in the Neural Electrokinetics Laboratory (NEL) at the Houston Methodist Research Institute.