The Midwest Children's Brain Tumor Center was the first hospital in Illinois to adopt Intra-Operative MRI - a revolutionary technology that allows neurosurgeons at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital unprecedented views of the brain during surgery. The intra-operative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system improves the accuracy of brain surgery for children and adults by providing real-time, high-quality images of the brain before, during and after surgery.
This state-of-the art technique offers a tremendous advantage for the removal of brain tumors. Once an operation has started, the brain can shift up to a centimeter. With the ability to view MRI images during surgery, uncertainties resulting from brain shift can be eliminated physicians can be more precise in determining the location and size of the tumor.
The system inherently makes surgery safer for patients, improves patient outcomes and reduces hospital stays. By pinpointing the exact location of the tumor, the system helps doctors avoid critical structures and ensure the entire tumor has been removed (whenever possible) before the patient leaves the operating room. There are fewer complications and less potential for recurrence.
Surgery may now be an option for some brain tumor patients who previously were considered too high risk. This technology allows physicians to more confidently operate on low grade tumors that look very similar to normal brain tissue or are blended into healthy tissue. The MRI can highlight the margins that can't be seen with the naked eye.
New Clinical Trial - The Center and Brain Tumor Dye Study
The Midwest Children's Brain Tumor Center was the first hospital in the United States to participate in the Brain Tumor Dye Study -- a Phase 1 and 2 Study of Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA) to Enhance Visualization and Resection of Malignant Glial Tumors of the Brain. The purpose of this study is to determine the safety and utility of ALA for identifying a malignant brain tumor during surgery. It is important for a surgeon to remove all of a brain tumor. This is sometimes difficult because the tumor can look like normal brain. In some tumors ALA can make the tumors glow red under ultraviolet light. This can make it easier for the surgeon to remove the entire tumor.
Click here for additional information on the Brain Tumor Dye Study