Also called the Monorail Tumor, the device mimics the physical properties of the white matter of the brain to cause aggressive tumors to migrate to the outside of the organ, where cancer cells can be collected and removed. The purpose of the device is not to destroy the tumor, but to stop lethal spread, so cancer can not be condemned to death, according to Medical Xpress.
“Tumor Monorail changes the approach to treating brain tumors,” said Barun Brahma, a neurosurgeon at Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta, who has been a member of the research team since the early stages of the project in 2014. “There are many tumors that are considered inoperable due to the location or fragility of the patient. The device allows doctors to treat these tumors with minimal intervention, “he added.
From the initial study, the results on rodents were promising, which led to the adaptation of the device for human use. Because the material is not as important as the physical structure, the researchers added a material that is known to last a long time and is tolerated by the human body. In its current form, the device is a long and thin tube with a small reservoir at the end that stands above the skull under the scalp.
“What is most important is that the tumor spreads in a controlled way through our device to a reservoir away from the mother’s tumor and not in healthy tissue,” said Nassir Mokarram of Duke University, the leader of this project.