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Researchers quantify benefits of minimally invasive removal of hard-to-reach tumors
Date:4/1/2010

CINCINNATIA minimally invasive endoscopic procedure holds promise for safely removing large brain tumors from an area at the bottom of the skull, near the sinus cavities, clinical researchers at the Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute (UCNI) at University Hospital have found.

The findings, to be published in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery and previously published online in October 2009, have important implications for patients with large pituitary tumors (pituitary macroadenomas).

"This is the first time that a quantitative advantage has been shown for the use of endoscopy in cranial surgery," says Philip Theodosopoulos, MD, principal investigator of the study, director of skull base surgery at UC and a neurosurgeon with the Mayfield Clinic.

"This signals the dawn of a new era in minimally invasive cranial surgery. We have moved from the realm of assessing whether it is feasible to studying its clinical effectiveness. In this way, it is slowly starting to change from a novelty to standard treatment, setting the bar for the quality of surgical outcomes higher than ever before."

Although tumors of the pituitary gland, located near the base of the skull, are benign, pituitary macroadenomas can wreak havoc, causing acromegaly (an overproduction of growth hormone), Cushing disease (an overproduction of the hormone cortisol) and hyperthyroidism, as well as visual problems, headaches and dizziness.

When removing pituitary macroadenomas (tumors that are larger than 10 millimeters), surgeons have employed three distinct routes to the tumor:

  • Through the skull, in a procedure called a craniotomy.
  • Through an incision under the upper lip and then through the septum, which must be split apart.
  • Through the nostrils -- a transnasal approach -- without an incision.

The endoscopic transsphenoidal approach, Theodosopoulo
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Contact: Cindy Starr
cstarr@mayfieldclinic.com
513-558-3505
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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