OmniGuide fiber used in head and neck cancer surgery

Sept. 13, 2005
Cambridge, MA--With a hollow-core photonic-bandgap fiber made by OmniGuide as the light channel, three head and neck laser surgeries have been carried out on patients. The fiber delivered energy from a CO2 laser for the surgeries.

Cambridge, MA--With a hollow-core photonic-bandgap fiber made by OmniGuide as the light channel, three head and neck laser surgeries have been carried out on patients. The fiber delivered energy from a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser for the surgeries.

The procedures were performed by Dr. Randal Weber, the chairman of the Department of Head & Neck Surgery, and by Dr. Chris Holsinger, attending surgeon at the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX).

The fiber, enabling flexible delivery of CO2 laser light, was used to remove a vocal-cord precancerous lesion, to ablate vocal cord carcinoma in-situ (stage 0 cancer), and to perform a base-of-tongue biopsy on a cancer patient. The laryngeal cases required delicate ablation and removal of a thin mucosal layer, while the biopsy case required quick cutting through thick tissue. In all cases, the fiber was used through a rigid laryngoscope and manipulated by use of a malleable handpiece.

"We were very pleased with the performance of the fibers and the superb tissue interaction, which allowed very efficient, safe, and precise application," said Dr. Weber. "We will publish the results on these first cases as soon as possible."

Dr. Holsinger added, "When compared to our standard techniques, the fiber enabled much easier access in cases which were very difficult to visualize. By doing so, procedure time was shortened substantially. Moreover, the laser causes less tissue trauma and less inflammation when compared to electrocautery, resulting in less pain and better healing."

"We are fortunate to be working with the key thought leaders in this field and expect to perform numerous additional cases at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in the near future," said Steve Sheng, OmniGuide's president and chief executive officer.

The fiber's inner coating is a so-called "omnidirectional" coating, consisting of alternate layers of a low-index material and a very-high-index material, the combination of which achieves a total bandgap at all incidence angles for certain wavelengths. The coating was pioneered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA; see Laser Focus World, February 1999, p. 16), and subsequently commercialized by OmniGuide.

About the Author

LFW Staff

Published since 1965, Laser Focus World—a brand and magazine for engineers, researchers, scientists, and technical professionals—provides comprehensive global coverage of optoelectronic technologies, applications, and markets. With 80,000+ qualified print subscribers in print and over a half-million annual visitors to our online content, we are the go-to source to access decision makers and stay in-the-know.

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