A new vision of surgery
“Surgery is undergoing rapid changes. Vascular diseases are now treated using endovascular techniques and extravascular pathologies are now treated using endoscopic and robotic techniques. This represents a significant change for the surgeon, who has the desire to minimize the aggressiveness of his actions. However, in the near future, these endoscopic and robotic techniques should give way to pure percutaneous techniques. Soon surgery will no longer be “open, sleep, pain and hospitalization,” but rather “diagnose, phenotype, coagulate, resect” and this will be done safely because all procedures will be performed under continuous image monitoring. This is the surgery of tomorrow. This change may seem impossible. Yet it is possible.” Pr Carpentier
This is the goal of the research performed by CarThera: develop a totally new medical technology that can be performed in a single outpatient procedure, under local anesthesia and using real-time MRI monitoring.
Between 2006 and 2009, Pr. Alexandre Carpentier, in collaboration with an American team, performed two clinical trials using a probe that emits laser energy to destroy brain tumors under real-time MRI control (A. Carpentier et al., Journal of Neurosurgery 2008; A. Carpentier et al., Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 2011; A. Carpentier et al., Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 2012).
This first human trial allowed CarThera® to highlight the benefits of the use of MRI as an interventional tool and significantly increased patient survival (+12.8 months). But, several limitations were also noted: it was difficult to use the laser probe for treating complex tumor shapes; histological diagnosis during the procedure was not possible; and, it was not possible to extract necrotic tissue after the procedure, which created an undesirable mass effect after treatments.
At CarThera, we wanted to solve those three issues by developing a new probe that contains two major innovations:
(i) changing the energy source for inducing heating of tissue from a laser to ultrasound to allow for a better adaptation of the thermal treatment to the tumor shape without having to move the probe.
(ii) adding a central canal to the device to allow the surgeon to perform biopsies at the beginning of the treatment and to perform tissue removal at the end of the treatment to decrease the mass effect.
This is how the SonoProbe program was born.