New Device for Pediatric Brain and Spine Tumor Removal

​This hospital is the first children’s hospital in Illinois and among the first in the country to acquire a new minimally invasive neurosurgical medical device that makes pediatric brain and spine tumor removal faster and easier. The NICO Myriad™ has been used in removing brain tumors in children as young as 8 months and can be used in removing many of the most common malignant and non-cancerous pediatric brain and central nervous system tumors. It is the first automated and non-heat producing tumor removal device to operate in open and endoscopic surgical approaches and will give neurosurgeons the ability to treat a wider spectrum of disease conditions and remove tumors from hard-to-reach areas of the brain and spine.

There are nearly 7,000 newly diagnosed childhood brain and spine tumors annually in the U.S. The surgeons at the hospital perform more than 100 pediatric brain and spine procedures every year. Using the new device is expected to provide significant efficiency gains for the hospital through notable reductions in surgical procedure times – sometimes cutting operating room time in half. 

“The system used through the working channel of an endoscope has revolutionized pediatric neurosurgery. It is minimally invasive, meaning we can operate through a small hole versus an open craniotomy, and works very efficiently at quickly removing tumors and cysts that can be debilitating to patients,” said Tadanori Tomita, MD, head of Neurosurgery. “Patients greatly benefit from a minimally invasive approach with shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times, which can be a substantial cost savings to both the patient and the hospital.”

The device’s slender design and malleable tip allows for superior control and precise surgical work that is delivered by the physician through a foot pedal operation. The tool makes it easy for physicians to move from delicate tissue shaving near or on critical structures like optic nerves and carotid arteries to rapid tissue removal of large, more fibrous tumors without multiple insertions of different devices. Especially important for pediatric surgeries is the device’s small diameter and long tip length that make it particularly useful in the removal of masses deep in the brain either through traditional open craniotomy or by the more minimally invasive endoscopic technique.

The neurosurgeons use the device in a number of pediatric neurosurgical cases, including the most common benign or non-cancerous and localized tumors like pilocytic astrocytomas and the more aggressive, highly malignant or cancerous primary brain tumors like gliomas and medulloblastomas. Brain tumors are the second most common malignancy among children less than 20 years old, and medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor, comprising 14.5 percent of newly diagnosed pediatric cases. Forty percent of medulloblastoma patients are diagnosed before age 5 and 31 percent are between the ages of 5 and 9.

For more information about the NICO Myriad system, visit

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital, is a 23-story, state-of-the-art hospital located in downtown Chicago on the campus of its academic partner, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals in the U.S.News & World Report 2013-14 Honor Roll rankings. Lurie Children’s provides pediatric care in a setting that offers the latest benefits and innovations in medical technology, research and family-friendly design. The hospital relies on philanthropic support to care for more than 149,000 children each year.

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