Monteris Medical has announced that position statements supporting the use of laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) for people with brain tumors and drug-resistant epilepsy have been issued by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), and the American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (ASSFN). These joint position statements provide an evidence-based best practices summary to guide health care providers on the use of magnetic resonance (MR)-guided LITT in the management of selected patients who may benefit from minimally invasive laser technology.
The position statement for epilepsy states that surgery (open resection or LITT) should be considered when there is documentation of disabling seizures despite the use of antiepileptic drug regimens, and there are well-defined and surgically accessible epileptogenic foci. The goal of surgery is to achieve seizure freedom or seizure reduction in order to improve the patient’s quality of life and reduce or eliminate the burden of their illness.
For patients with brain tumors, the societies’ joint statements indicate that LITT should be considered for the management of primary brain tumors (gliomas/glioblastoma), recurrent tumors, brain metastases, and radiation necrosis. The position statement for brain tumors and radiation necrosis follows the recent inclusion of LITT in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN) guidelines in June 2021. The NCCN guidelines added MR-guided LITT as a treatment option to their central nervous system guiding principles of brain tumor surgery (BRAIN-B) for patients who are not surgical candidates (craniotomy or resection) with potential indications including relapsed brain metastases and radiation necrosis.
“Laser ablation has had an increasing role in the multidisciplinary approach to treating drug-resistant epilepsy patients in recent years and is supported by a growing body of clinical evidence,” said Dr. Joshua Rosenow, director of functional neurosurgery and professor of neurosurgery at Northwestern University in Chicago. “The societies’ recognition of minimally invasive LITT indicates a distinct transition in how we treat patients with epilepsy and brain tumors.”
The position statements also reference the strong safety profile of LITT and its economic value to hospitals. Published data for LITT shows most patients are likely to avoid an ICU stay and the typically longer hospital stay associated with open surgical resection. Patients undergoing LITT have also demonstrated fast recovery and low rates of head pain, infection, complications, and readmission.
“It is truly a historic day for the patients and physicians we serve to have MR-guided laser ablation recognized by the major neurosurgical societies as an evidence-based alternative for appropriate patients,” said Martin J. Emerson, president and CEO of Monteris Medical. “Inclusion in clinical guidelines, the forthcoming Category Level I CPT® codes, and expanding coverage with major health insurance providers will offer greater patient access to this life-changing technology.”
Source: Monteris Medical.