Monteris Medical Announces Study Published on Patient Preferences for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy Treatment Options
Duke Clinical Research Institute study shows strong willingness to accept minimally invasive procedure and avoid risks of open surgery, medications
MINNETONKA, Minn. – Mar. 16, 2022 – Monteris Medical announced today that a study on patient preferences for treating drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) has been published in the peer-reviewed journal, Epilepsy and Behavior. This first-of-its kind study on patient preferences for laser ablation, or laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT), supported by Monteris, showed that patients would prefer a minimally invasive procedure to treat their epilepsy even if that meant a hypothetically lower level of effectiveness over a more invasive craniotomy.
The study, administered by the Preference Evaluation Research Group at Duke Clinical Research Institute, designed and conducted a discrete choice experiment survey to a cohort of DRE patients from Duke University (n=106) and a web-recruited panel (n=300). The study found that the majority of DRE patients would consider a surgical option for their epilepsy versus remaining on medications. Respondents were also willing to accept lower treatment benefit to reduce risks of mortality or neurological deficits.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Saurabh R. Sinha, an epileptologist in the department of neurology at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., said, “Our work clearly shows that patients with refractory or hard to control seizures are willing to consider surgery and most strongly prefer a minimally invasive approach that minimizes risks and time for recovery. The growing body of published work on LITT supports the use of this technology for the surgical treatment of patients with DRE. However, there is still a significant gap between the number of patients that would benefit from surgery and the actual number that even undergo evaluation for possible surgery, let alone actual surgery. Neurologists should be discussing these options with their epilepsy patients to bring awareness to treatment options beyond medications. The availability of minimally invasive options like LITT may encourage patients to undergo evaluation for epilepsy surgery and open up a path to improve their seizure control and quality of life.”
An estimated 3.4 million people in the United States have epilepsy, and about 30% of those people continue to have seizures despite the use of anti-seizure medications, leading to increased morbidity, decreased quality of life, and increased healthcare utilization. Multiple published studies show that patients who fail to achieve seizure freedom after two medications have a less than five percent chance of achieving seizure freedom when prescribed additional drug regimens.
Martin J. Emerson, president and chief executive officer of Monteris Medical, said, “We are honored to have partnered with the renowned Duke Clinical Research Institute on this important initiative. The study’s findings demonstrate that epilepsy patients and their families are seeking information on all available solutions to treat their seizure disorder. Despite the American Academy of Neurology and other organizations’ recommendations that DRE patients undergo an assessment at a comprehensive epilepsy center, too many patients remain on medications and are not referred for a surgical evaluation. Our mission is to help drive awareness to the communities of physicians and patients that can effectively benefit from minimally invasive laser ablation, which can be life-changing for so many that continue to suffer from epilepsy.”
About Monteris and the NeuroBlate System
Monteris Medical is a privately held company that develops and markets innovative MRI-guided ablation systems to perform minimally invasive, robotically controlled brain surgery, commonly referred to as laser ablation, LITT (Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy) or SLA (Stereotactic Laser Ablation). The Monteris NeuroBlate System is the only minimally invasive system that enables a robotic interface for the precise and safe delivery of laser energy. The Monteris Medical NeuroBlate System is a neurosurgical tool and is intended for ablating intracranial soft tissue, including brain structures such as brain tumors, radiation necrosis, and epileptic foci (as identified by non-invasive and invasive neurodiagnostic testing, including imaging). For more information, visit www.monteris.com.
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