Treating Brain Tumors – New Procedure

Treating Brain Tumors – New Tools

A new form of cancer treatment involves no drugs and practically no surgery. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Davalos: Cancer is just when the cells start to go astray and tend to rapidly divide and start behaving abnormally. What we are working on are several different types of cancer: brain cancer pancreatic cancer and skin cancer.

Rafael Davalos is an Associate Professor at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.

Davalos: Typically one of the things that the oncologists would like to do is actually cut out the cancer if that’s possible. Or, it’s usually a combination approach where you cut out the bulk tumor and then you treat the rest of the tumor with some chemo-therapeutics. Oftentimes that’s not possible due to the location of the tumor next to critical structures.

That led Rafael Davalos and his team to search for other ways to treat tumors.

We’ve developed a technique that is a minimally invasive surgical probe that you place into the targeted area and deliver a series of electrical pulses that kill the tumor without requiring the surgery and potentially without requiring the chemo -therapeutics.

Voice: Nine hundred volts.

We’re listening to the sounds of a horse being treated with the new procedure.

Exchange between veterinarian and owner of horse during procedure:
A hundred microseconds.
Feel this – these things have gone from being like icebergs to flat; really good progress. The first treatment you did to excavate them; it made a difference.

Davalos: So we’re helping actually animal patients that are coming into the Vet school and we’re trying to give them options when they have limited or no options and we’re either helping canines that come in with brain tumors or we’re helping horses with melanoma.

So far the treatment has been successful with animal patients. We’ll hear more in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Treating Brain Tumors - New Procedure

A new form of cancer treatment involves no drugs and practically no surgery.
Air Date:11/04/2013
Scientist:
Transcript:

Treating Brain Tumors - New Tools

A new form of cancer treatment involves no drugs and practically no surgery. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Davalos: Cancer is just when the cells start to go astray and tend to rapidly divide and start behaving abnormally. What we are working on are several different types of cancer: brain cancer pancreatic cancer and skin cancer.

Rafael Davalos is an Associate Professor at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.

Davalos: Typically one of the things that the oncologists would like to do is actually cut out the cancer if that's possible. Or, it's usually a combination approach where you cut out the bulk tumor and then you treat the rest of the tumor with some chemo-therapeutics. Oftentimes that's not possible due to the location of the tumor next to critical structures.

That led Rafael Davalos and his team to search for other ways to treat tumors.

We've developed a technique that is a minimally invasive surgical probe that you place into the targeted area and deliver a series of electrical pulses that kill the tumor without requiring the surgery and potentially without requiring the chemo -therapeutics.

Voice: Nine hundred volts.

We're listening to the sounds of a horse being treated with the new procedure.

Exchange between veterinarian and owner of horse during procedure:
A hundred microseconds.
Feel this - these things have gone from being like icebergs to flat; really good progress. The first treatment you did to excavate them; it made a difference.

Davalos: So we're helping actually animal patients that are coming into the Vet school and we're trying to give them options when they have limited or no options and we're either helping canines that come in with brain tumors or we're helping horses with melanoma.

So far the treatment has been successful with animal patients. We'll hear more in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.