A second child in the world has undergone ultrasound therapy for diffuse brainstem glioma, doctors at Children’s National Hospital Washington reported. The new technique ensures that chemotherapy drugs penetrate the blood-brain barrier into the tumor with minimal impact on healthy cells.
Six year old Kylie Weatherford became the second child in the world to receive ultrasound therapy for a brain tumor, the Washington Post reported. Treatment was carried out at Children’s National Hospital Washington.
At the beginning of the year, the girl was diagnosed with diffuse glioma of the brain stem. Experts noted that only 10% of children with this disease can live for two years; the five-year survival rate is only 2%.
During treatment, the child, who is under general anesthesia, wears a helmet on his head, inside of which ultrasonic waves are generated. At the same time, doctors send a stream of microbubbles through an intravenous catheter and direct ultrasound waves so that the bubbles bounce off and enter the tumor’s blood vessels. The bubbles cause blood vessels to dilate, creating temporary holes in the blood-brain barrier through which the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin can penetrate.
The new technique allows chemotherapy drugs to be delivered to the tumor, providing a more effective effect on pathological cells, with minimal impact on healthy tissue.
The last ultrasound therapy session was completed in July. Two months after treatment, control MRI showed stabilization of the process.
The first patient to receive ultrasound therapy for a brain tumor was a seven-year-old girl at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. Six months after completion of treatment, she also shows stabilization.