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Pioneering precision laser beam that zaps 'impossible to treat' brain tumours...

•, By Carol Davis

Father-of-one Pablo Casasbuenas, 36, had his aggressive and deep-seated tumour treated with the laser in October after being told he had only a year to live – and now says he is 'living life again'.

The procedure involves a fine narrow tube being inserted into the tumour before a laser is beamed down it, gradually heating up to about 70C, breaking down and killing the cancerous cells.

Real-time MRI images of the brain are sent to a computer screen, allowing surgeons to monitor where the laser is working.

Studies found that this pioneering laser procedure almost doubles survival time, from five to 11 months, for patients with inoperable brain tumours.

It also provides an alternative to aggressive chemotherapy or radiotherapy, which can further damage the sensitive brain tissues.

Hundreds of brain tumour patients are denied surgery every year because of the damage it can cause to surrounding healthy tissue. But the laser, called Visualase, is so precise that it can treat aggressive, hard-to-reach brain tumours with minimal damage. Often patients can go home the following day, compared to a ten-day hospital stay after conventional brain surgery.

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Anarchizona - March 30th 2019