Background: Stereotactic laser ablation (SLA), also termed laser interstitial thermal therapy, is a minimally invasive procedure that is increasingly used in neurosurgery. We wished to examine how and whether SLA is changing the landscape of treatment options for neurosurgical patients. Methods: Patients undergoing stereotactic laser ablation were prospectively enrolled in the Laser Ablation of Abnormal Neurological Tissue (LAANTERN) registry. Data from the first 100 enrolled patients are presented here. Results: Clinical indications for SLA include treatment of primary intracranial tumors (48%; 81% being high-grade gliomas [HGGs]), brain metastases (BMs, 34%), epilepsy (16%), and other (2%). For HGGs, SLA was equally likely used for newly diagnosed (45%) or previously treated/recurrent lesions (55%, P = 0.54). By contrast, SLA was predominantly used as treatment for BMs in which radiation therapy/radiosurgery had failed (91%), with only 9% of SLAs performed as initial treatment for newly diagnosed lesions (P < 0.001). Of all SLAs performed, 45% of the procedures were in lieu of surgical resection, with 43% performed because the lesion was not accessible by conventional neurosurgical techniques. Conclusion: HGGs and BMs are the leading indications for SLA in the LAANTERN study. For HGGs, SLA is equally used in the presenting or previously treated/recurrent setting. For BMs, SLA is typically used in the recurrent setting. SLAs are equally likely to be performed for difficult-to-access lesions or in lieu of conventional open surgery.
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- Stereotactic laser ablation