This is the first time that this US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared laser ablation device has been used in California.

UC San Diego Division of Neurosurgery research vice chairman and neurosurgeon Dr Clark Chen noted that the patient’s brain tumor was located in the thalamus.

"Normally, to access a tumor in this region, the surgeon would have to remove considerable healthy brain tissue, thus subjecting the patient to significant neurologic injury.

"Our goal with this type of MRI-guided laser technology is to preserve healthy brain tissues while accessing tumors that would otherwise be inoperable," Dr Chen added.

Dr Chen and his team used a technique called laser interstitial thermal therapy. The procedure is performed inside an MRI machine while the patient is under general anesthesia. A dime-size hole was created in the patient’s skull to access the tumor.

The NeuroBlate laser probe was inserted into the tumor under real-time MRI monitoring and computer guidance. When the tumor was reached, the laser beam was activated to heat tumor cells to a lethal temperature.

Monteris Medical CEO John Schellhorn noted that the company is encouraged by the reception its NeuroBlate System technology has received in the US and Canada, including the newest site in California.

"Our corporate mission is to provide brain surgeons one additional tool to use in the fight against invasive brain disease. We feel the NeuroBlate System’s ability to ablate a large 3-D contoured volume while providing the neurosurgeon real time feedback on what has been heated to a lethal temperature offers a new paradigm for ablation evaluation," Schellhorn added.