Swedish Neuroscience Institute performs focused ultrasound procedure to treat metastatic brain tumor

October 01, 2014

Study is one of three trials at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle examining novel technology’s treatment potential

SEATTLE — Oct. 1, 2014 — Surgeons from the Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) in Seattle have used focused ultrasound waves to noninvasively treat a metastatic brain tumor. The procedure was performed by Swedish neurosurgeon Stephen Monteith, M.D. and assisted by Charles Cobbs, M.D. and is part of an early stage clinical trial examining the novel technology.

The trial is one of three ongoing studies being conducted by SNI to evaluate the use of focused ultrasound – a technology traditionally associated with imaging and diagnostic procedures – for the noninvasive treatment of neurological disorders. The brain tumors trial, along with separate clinical trials examining focused ultrasound for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, make SNI one of the nation’s leading research centers for the study of focused ultrasound.

“This research is being conducted to hopefully prove that the focused ultrasound procedure is an alternative treatment option for our patients, but we won’t know that until we are done with the complete trial,” said Dr. Monteith. “Finding new, more effective and less invasive ways to care for our patients is our overall mission.”

Focused ultrasound uses noninvasive ultrasound waves to focus on a point in the brain where disease or a condition is active. The beams exclusively focus on this target site, with the goal of leaving healthy tissue unaffected, and kill the targeted cells. Patients remain conscious throughout the process and can respond to questions that guide treatment. An MRI machine is used in combination with the technology to help guide neurosurgeons.

“Patients with metastatic brain tumors and other neurological conditions require highly specialized care,’ said Dr. Cobbs. “Non-invasive, effective treatments are an option that all providers would like to offer their patients.

Focused Ultrasound research at SNI is made possible through generous philanthropic support from local and national donors, including Seattle developers David and Sandy Sabey and the Sabey Corporation, as well as the Charlottesville, VA-based Focused Ultrasound Foundation's Cornelia Flagg Keller Memorial Fund.

“We are proud to support the research being conducted at Swedish Neuroscience Institute and other luminary sites,” said Neal F. Kassell, M.D., Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

The trial’s sponsor was InSightec, based in Tirat Carmel, Israel.

For more information, please contact Swedish at 206-386-2748.

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About Swedish

Founded in 1910, Swedish is the largest non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; and Swedish Medical Group, a network of more than 100 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. In addition to general medical and surgical care including robotic-assisted surgery, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. In 2013, Swedish provided nearly $143 million in community benefit in Western Washington. For more information, visit www.swedish.org, www.facebook.com/swedishmedicalcenter, or www.twitter.com/swedish.

Topics: Cancer, Neuroscience