Gleolan, also called ALA HCI or 5-ALA, is one of the most groundbreaking and modern methods available for brain tumor surgery.
Gleolan is a visual imaging contrast agent that is used to help map out and define high-grade primary brain tumors like Glioblastoma for surgical removal. This exciting new method allows neurosurgeons to remove tumor cells more precisely, and more safely than ever before.
Surgical treatment of Glioblastoma can present a considerable challenge since the tumors often have “finger-like” projections that spread into different parts of the brain and can be hard to fully remove. Gleolan helps highlight these tumors in detail so that complete tumor removal can be more easily achieved.
How Does Gleolan Work for Glioma Treatment?
Even with the help of advanced surgical technology, neurosurgeons can’t always be 100% sure that the entirety of the tumor is removed during surgery. This has posed a significant risk in the past as the goal is to remove as much of the tumor as possible and not to cause neurologic problems for the patient post-surgery.
With the introduction of Gleolan though, the chance of removing the entire tumor mass becomes much more realistic. In fact, during clinical trials of Gleolan, patients had twice the rate of progression-free survival (PFS) at 6 months compared to placebo.
Prior to surgery, patients drink the Gleolan contrasting agent which allows the surgical team to visualize the tumor in vivid contrast to distinguish it from the surrounding unaffected brain tissue. Under a special blue light microscope, the tumor turns bright pink or magenta—helping the surgeon to more safely and accurately remove all or most of the tumor from the brain.
Side Effects of Gleolan Treatment
The most commonly reported side effects include light sensitivity and moderate gastrointestinal discomfort.
Because of the risk of photosensitivity to the eyes and skin, patients who elect to use Gleolan must remain in a dimly-lit room away from sunlight for 48 hours after surgery. This is critical to avoid sunburn or eye pain after surgery.
Is Gleolan for Glioma Treatment Right for you?
Our highly skilled Dr. Chris Michael at Texas Neuro-Spine Surgery is proud to be the only neurosurgeon in the Dallas-Fort Worth area currently using this revolutionary method for the surgical removal of complex brain tumors. Dr. Michael uses modern neuroimaging techniques and practices to understand his patients’ most crucial medical needs and concerns.
Have a question? Please contact us or call 214-823-2052. We have two conveniently located offices in Addison and Dallas serving patients in Dallas, Addison, Plano, Frisco, Garland, and other cities in the DFW metroplex.