Dr. Mark Souweidane Chosen in Worldwide Search to Perform Pioneering Procedure on Pediatric Patient
On Thursday January, 12, 2011 Dr. Mark Souweidane performed a pioneering surgical procedure on a 6-year-old child with a late-stage malignant brain stem tumor, a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). Using a stereotactically guided micro-catheter, Dr. Souweidane directly infused the tumor with a virus that kills the virus. This approach, known as virotherapy, uses tumor killing viruses to replicate selectively in tumor cells, leaving normal cells untouched. Just days after the procedure, the child appears to be doing well and without surgical complications. It is hoped that this innovative approach will become an alternative treatment for other children with DIPG or other incurable brain tumors. The patient's parents selected Dr. Souweidane after exhaustive efforts to find the most innovative and promising therapy for their child all over the U.S. and Europe. Dr. Souweidane has spent over ten years conducting preclinical research on the feasibility of direct infusion for brain tumors in children. He is also the principal investigator of a Phase I clinical study for children with DIPG that should soon be open for patient enrollment.