Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center | News & Features

Groundbreaking research helps advance treatment of rare, fast growing brain tumor

Researchers from the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center recently found that levels of a specific protein detected through a patient’s urine can track a tumor’s size and responsiveness to treatment in children with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG). This discovery helps steer the course for more innovative and less invasive treatment options.

Inspiring battle of girl, 9, who has suffered 2 brain aneurysms, a massive stroke and 5 open brain surgeries — but still keeps up with her twin sister who is illness-free

The Daily Mail tells the inspiring story of Boston Children’s Hospital’s patient Amanda LePage, who at age 9 has undergone five brain surgeries. Amanda was just five months old when she suffered her first brain aneurysm and her mother credits Boston Children’s Hospital’s Edward Smith, MD,& for saving her daughter’s life. In the article, Smith explains the complexities of brain aneurysms in infants.

N.H. girl paralyzed by rare condition now on road to recovery

WBZ-TV reports on Lily Borden, a 4-year-old who was diagnosed with an arteriovenous fistula (AVF), a very rare malformation that occurs when arteries connect directly to veins. The little girl had no movement in her limbs when she was rushed to Boston Children’s Hospital for endovascular embolization, but has made a nearly full recovery. Lily’s surgeon, Boston Children’s Darren Orbach, MD, PhD, is interviewed for the story.

Simulation center aids surgeons, medical teams

USA Today features Boston Children's Simulator Program — one of the most extensive simulations practices in the world — and the newly unveiled Simulation Center, which allows clinicians and teams to practice their skills and support families. Boston Children's Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD, speaks about the importance of medical simulation and describes his first experience with simulation. Edward Smith, MD, discusses his use of 3-D modeling to plan for and practice complex procedures, and says that the advent of 3D models and simulated surgeries has advanced the ability to do things that couldn't be done before.

Brain surgery patient plans to run marathon

The Indiana Gazette reports on Boston Children’s Hospital patient Shannon Smith, an Indiana Area High School graduate ran the Boston Marathon. Smith was diagnosed at age 19 with Moyamoya disease and was successfully operated on by Boston Children’s Edward R. Smith, MD.

Back from the Brink: Bryan's life-threatening brain AVM

Bryan Thomas doesn’t remember anything between his 8th-grade graduation party, the night he almost died, and waking up in the ICU days later. His mom recaps how Drs. Edward Smith and Darren Orbach saved his life and removed a dangerous tangle of vessels in his brain called an arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

Brain Power: 3D Printing is a New Tool for Thinking

A column in WIRED describes Boston Children's Edward Smith, MD,'s use of 3D printing to prepare for the challenge of complicated neurosurgeries. Days in advance, hospital techs use standard imaging to print a high-resolution copy of a child's brain and then Smith will examine it, slowly developing a nuanced, tactile feel for the challenge and rehearse the surgery as many times as he wants. During the operation, Smith keeps the printed brain next to him for reference.

Children with complex medical needs often seek care elsewhere

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on Eleanor Cherry, a little girl who had a stroke the week before Thanksgiving and, in March, had surgery to fix the brain defect that caused the stroke, a rare malformation called Moyamoya disease. Boston Children’s Ed Smith, MD, who performed the surgery, is mentioned in the article.

3D-printed models of children's brain anatomy help reduce operative risk of complex procedures

Medical Net News reports Boston Children's Hospital physicians report the first cases of children benefiting from 3D printing of their anatomy before undergoing high-risk brain procedures. The children all had life-threatening cerebrovascular malformations (abnormalities in the brain's blood vessels) that posed special treatment challenges. The use of 3D printing and synthetic resins to create custom, high-fidelity models of the children's vessel malformations along with nearby normal blood vessels, allowed the surgeons to rehearse the cases beforehand and reduce operative risk. Boston Children’s Hospital’s Ed Smith, MD, was quoted in the article.

Melchionda, Ciaccio team up to run marathon and raise money for rare diseases

Danielle Ciaccio ran the Boston Marathon to raise funds in support of Boston Children's Moyamoya Disease Program and in honor of her son Jackson, who suffered an ischemic stroke at age seventeen-months and was eventually diagnosed with moyamoya.

3D printing helps give girl a new face

CBC's The National features Boston Children's Simulator Program and interviews Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD, about the program and the tremendous value of medical simulation. Edward Smith, MD, and John Meara, MD, DMD, MBA, speak about their use of the Simulator Program's 3D printing service and experiences with two patients whose complex anatomy was printed on the 3D printer. An online news piece accompanies the CBC video, describing the Simulator Program and patient stories.

3D Printing Helps Doctors in Brain Surgery on Southington Teenager

The Hartford Courant (subscription required) explains how 3D printing helped save the life of Adam Stedman, a 16-year-old from Southington, Conn. Adam had a delicate cranial neurosurgery at Boston Children's Hospital to repair a rare arteriovenous malformation. A 3D model of Adam's brain was used by Boston Children’s neurosurgeon, Edward Smith, MD, in pre-surgery training. Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD, director the Boston Children's Hospital simulator program is quoted in the article.

Surgeons Get ‘Dress Rehearsals’ with 3D-Printed Body Parts

ABC News features Boston Children's Simulator Program and its 3D printing service which allows doctors to practice performing complex surgeries on one-of-a-kind patients before ever entering the operating room. Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD, tells ABC his team has printed about 100 body parts over the last year and demand is growing. Edward Smith, MD, says a surgery that was supposed to take five or six hours wound up taking 2 hours and 20 minutes after practicing on the replicas that had been printed of a 15-year-old patient with an abnormal cluster of veins above his optical nerve.

As childhood strokes increase, surgeons aim to reduce risks

National Public Radio tells the story of 13-year-old Maribel Ramos, a girl with moyamoya disease who underwent pial synangiosis, giving her brain a new blood supply.

Medical Mysteries: What did the boy’s echo reveal?

Help solve the diagnostic puzzle of 4-month-old Rolensky of Haiti, whose heart seemed to be failing — yet showed no visible cardiac abnormality. As described in The Boston Globe, the decision to place the echo probe on his head rather than his heart led to the right solution.

Pencil pulled from tot’s head very, very slowly

This unusual accident — in which a pencil penetrated five inches into 20-month-old’s brain, crossing from one end of the skull to the other — demonstrates the power of advanced brain imaging when combined with a neurosurgeon’s steady hand.