Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is an emerging technique to treat primary and metastatic brain tumors that can be hard to reach with conventional surgery. LITT is performed by implanting a laser catheter into the tumor and heating it to temperatures high enough to kill the tumor.

The catheter is implanted using advanced computer imaging techniques. The laser is guided through the catheter with real-time MRI, allowing neurosurgeons to limit thermal energy delivery only to the tumor. Most patients can go home the day after treatment and can quickly return to normal activities.

Laser interstitial thermal therapy is minimally invasive. It typically requires only a 2-millimeter incision in the scalp, and takes only a few minutes to perform.

LITT can also help patients who do not respond to stereotactic radiosurgery or have radiation necrosis (tissue death caused by radiation treatment).