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Innovative Brain Surgery Gives Patients Hope For The Future (Houston - KPRC)The idea of being awake and lucid while doctors remove a tumor from the brain may amaze some and worry others, but a new life-saving procedure is giving hope to people suffering from brain cancer. - Jan 04 6:00 PM ET


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Website: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/kprc/20010104/lo/282876_1.html

Posted on: 01/04/2001

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Local News - updated 6:15 PM ET Jan 4
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Thursday January 04 06:00 PM EST
"Innovative Brain Surgery Gives Patients Hope For The Future" Innovative Brain Surgery Gives Patients Hope For The Future
Patients Are Awake During Procedure

The idea of being awake and lucid while doctors remove a tumor from the brain may amaze some and worry others, but a new life-saving procedure is giving hope to people suffering from brain cancer.


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Annie Lockhart was one of the first brain tumor patients to undergo the surgery, and she admits that she was rattled by the thought of the surgery. Lockhart said that she was ready to try anything to save her life.

"At first it kind of blew me away, you know to think that I had something like that," Lockhart said. "But then it didn't blow me away like it does some people because I'm expecting a miracle with my doctors and God."

The miracle cure Lockhart and other patients hope for involves placing special wafers into the brain, after the tumor has been removed.

Dr. Nick Avgeropoulous explained how the procedure works.

"You have these dime size wafers that you put in during surgery, you line the tumor bed and the bcnu (a Food and Drug Administration approved chemotherapy agent) that's impregnating these dime size wafers that then soaks in, over the course of three weeks," Dr. Avgeropoulous said.

The FDA approved the procedure in patients where a tumor has recurred following surgery. Lockhart is a part of a clinical test that is testing the efficacy of the wafer treatment.

Lockhart followed her groundbreaking surgery with traditional radiation as well as, gamma knife radiation surgery.

The new procedure shrinks the chance of tumors to a one-in-20 chance, Dr. Avgeropoulous said. "These new therapies are being pushed to the limit and each day, not each year, each day there's something new that's discovered here," Dr. Avgeropoulous said. "It's only going to be a matter of time before this is cured.

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