2 April 2021

A research group from Radboudumc and UMC Utrecht is to investigate laser treatment of a rare brain tumor, glioblastoma. 3.9 million euros has been made available for the research by Zorginstituut Nederland and ZonMw, under the auspices of the Subsidy Scheme for Promising Care.

The research group, which includes technical physician Kristian Overduin, professor of Health Evidence Maroeska Rovers, associate professor of Health Evidence Janneke Grutters, neurosurgeon Mark ter Laan of the Radboudumc, and neurosurgeon Pieter van Eijsden of UMC Utrecht, will receive 3.9 million euros for research into brain tumors. In the Netherlands, 1,100 people contract glioblastoma, a rare malignant brain tumor, each year. This is a brain tumor in which the average life span after diagnosis is up to two years. In thirty percent of patients, the tumor cannot be removed with surgery.  "With Stereotactic Laser Ablation (SLA), we can offer these patients a new option," said Radboudumc neurosurgeon Mark ter Laan, who is leading the study. "This is a minimally invasive surgery that allows the targeted burning away of brain tumors with laser light. The procedure takes place in an MRI scanner." The surgeon thus has direct images of the brain tumor during the treatment, preventing damage to surrounding tissue with important functions. Research abroad shows hopeful results.

Neurosurgeon Pieter van Eijsden of UMC Utrecht: "Because brain tumors are quite exceptional, relatively little is invested in this research compared to other tumors. That makes this award extra special." The Radboudumc and UMC Utrecht will now investigate the effect, complications and costs of this treatment for the first time in the Netherlands, supported by the National Neuro-Oncology Working Group and the patient association hersenletsel.nl. Also the effect on survival and quality of life will be investigated. The study should show whether SLA is indeed a better treatment for patients with glioblastoma where surgery is not possible.


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