Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy, or LITT, for brain tumors and lesions

What is Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy?

MRI-guided laser ablation or laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is an innovative and minimally invasive treatment for brain tumors, epilepsy, and other brain lesions. This treatment involves computer-assisted placement of a laser probe into the brain and delivery of heat therapy. During the surgery, the patient is in MRI for monitoring of the margins of heat delivery. LITT allows for minimally invasive treatment for deep brain lesions. Most patients are treated without general anesthesia and are discharged home the day after treatment.

UF Health is one of only a handful of facilities in Florida offering the new NeuroBlate® System, a tool in the fight against brain tumors and epilepsy. We are also in the top 3 programs in the country for the number of LITT cases performed using the Neuroblate® system for the treatment of malignant brain tumors.

The NeuroBlate® System can help destroy tumors and lesions in many locations in the brain, while protecting healthy surrounding tissue as much as possible. The NeuroBlate® System has distinct advantages over traditional open procedures.

Rahman brain cancer surgeon
Patented technology designed at the University of Florida’s computer-assisted surgical laboratory for stereotactic placement of the laser probe.

What are the benefits of laser interstitial thermal therapy, or the LITT procedure, at UF Health?

  • Experienced and patent-awarded surgical team.
  • Multidisciplinary effort with participation from neurosurgeons, medical physicists, anesthesiologists and radiologists aimed at providing the optimal patient experience.
  • UF researchers recently demonstrated that LITT induces temporary disruption of the peritumoral
    blood-brain barrier.
  • Open clinical trials at the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy at the University of Florida for recurrent, high-grade gliomas using LITT with immunotherapy and targeted chemotherapy.

The LITT team includes Dr. RahmanDr. RoperDr. MuradDr. Bova and the OR and MRI staff. The collaborative approach to LITT at UF Health results in the optimal experience for patients. The process is continuously being improved at UF Health including:

  1. Pre-planning with custom-made face masks for stereotactic targeting
  2. Accurate stereotactic placement of the laser probe allowing for the procedure to be completed quickly and efficiently
  3. Custom-made head fixation during the delivery of laser ablation that allows that patient to avoid prolonged general anesthesia

LITT can also be combined with other novel therapies and has lead to exciting new trials for brain tumor patients at the University of Florida lead by our neuro-oncologists.

What is The NeuroBlate® System?

  • The only system that monitors ablation contours in three dimensions and provides real-time imaging to support a neurosurgeon’s clinical decision matrix.
  • Employs diode laser energy delivered via a gas-cooled fiber-optic, which allows safe targeting and selective ablation of soft tissue and lesions in the brain, including some that may have traditionally been deemed “inoperable.”
  • Allows surgeons to have a new tool for treating diseased cells with lethal heat, while helping to preserve healthy tissue.
  • Therapy is minimally invasive — blood loss may be reduced during the procedure; the surgical opening can usually be closed with only a small suture.
  • The system is a combination of hardware, software and disposable surgical devices used with an existing MRI scanner.