Focused Ultrasound in Pediatrics: Early Results Suggest Therapy is Safe for Benign Brain Tumors


Key Points

  • Researchers have published results from the first five patients in a clinical trial using focused ultrasound to treat benign pediatric brain tumors.
  • The study is ongoing and aims to determine tolerability, safety, and feasibility for treating central brain tumors in adolescents and young adults.
  • Early results indicate that focused ultrasound ablation of these tumors is safe.

Initial Experience with Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound Stereotactic Surgery for Central Brain Lesions in Young Adults

Researchers using focused ultrasound to treat benign pediatric brain tumors have published initial resultsJNS logo from the first five participants enrolled in the clinical trial. The study’s primary aim was to determine tolerability, safety, and feasibility for using focused ultrasound to treat central brain tumors in 10 children or young adults. Four children with hypothalamic hamartoma and one with tuberous sclerosis harboring a subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA) were treated at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida. The procedure was well tolerated with no procedure-related complications. Ablation was successful in the four participants with hypothalamic hamartomas and led to improved seizure control and decreased hyperphagia. No bleeding, electrolyte imbalances, hormone problems, or new neurological deficits occurred. Early results indicate that performing focused ultrasound thermoablation of centrally located brain lesions appears to be safe in this population.

“The series demonstrates that it is possible to use non-ionizing stereotactic surgery to treat pediatric patients with sound, and it may be a safer alternative to conventional radiosurgery,” said Travis Tierney, MD, the first author of the paper.

The study is ongoing, and interested patients can learn more on

See the Journal of Neurosurgery >

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