Better Success with Brain Surgery: Advanced imaging technology improves precision

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Better Success with Brain Surgery: Advanced imaging technology improves precision

Monica Brown has a long history with Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). It started in 2008 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After learning she had a low-grade neoplasm-a slow-growing tumor-she turned to Randy Jensen, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery, radiation oncology, and oncological sciences at HCI. Dr. Jensen removed the tumor from Monica's brain, and for several years it stayed away.

But Monica recently learned the tumor was backand in a dangerous location. This time, the tumor was close to parts of Monica's brain that control language and motor function. She decided to have a second surgery.

This time, Dr. Jensen used intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI), a new technology developed since Monica's first operation. With this specialized tool, he could now see the tumor's precise size and location during surgery. The intraoperative MRI also allowed him to check that all of the tumor had been removed. "Last time we weren't able to check our work during the operation," says Dr. Jensen. "This is cutting edge."

Monica returned home to her family three days after the surgery. Now the focus turns to radiation treatment to help prevent the tumor from returning. Monica says she's especially grateful for Dr. Jensen and the advanced technology at HCI because she lost her mother to bladder cancer at a young age. "She was 56," Monica says. "I don't want my kids to be without a mom when they get older."

Learn more about the intraoperative MRI at HCI and see how it works.

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, which means it meets the highest standards for cancer research and receives support for its scientific endeavors. HCI is located on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and is a part of the University of Utah Health Care system. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer and operates several high-risk clinics that focus on melanoma and breast, colon, and pancreas cancers, among others. HCI also provides academic and clinical training for future physicians and researchers. For more information about HCI, please visit