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Made-in-Manitoba technology gives surgeons non-invasive access to the inner parts of the brain, saving lives and transforming the hospitals of the
future

Surgeons can now destroy previously inoperable tumors deep inside the brain using a revolutionary tool developed by two investigators at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, for which they received the 2015 Ernest C. Manning Principal Award.

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University of Manitoba Alumni Dr. Mark Torchia [PhD/01] and Richard Tyc [MSc/94] are receiving the award for their joint development of the NeuroBlate® System. Torchia is currently an associate professor of surgery in the U of M’s College of Medicine and the director of the University’s Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Tyc is vice-president, technology and advanced technology, at Monteris Medical, a spinoff company established in 1999 to create groundbreaking neurosurgical technologies.

“This award represents years of persistence, a true bench-to-bedside success story,” says Dr Grant Pierce, St. Boniface Hospital executive director of research. “This is a proud moment for the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, which supported this project from its inception to prototype development.”

The award announcement was made today at the University of Saskatchewan and the inventors will receive their $100,000 award at a gala tomorrow in Saskatoon.

NeuroBlate-System

The NeuroBlate System is a unique technology that allows surgeons to treat otherwise inoperable brain tumors that reside deep in the brain’s tissue. Surgeons begin by drilling a hole in the skull about the size of a pencil. They insert the Monteris NeuroBlate® System MRI-guided laser probe and use real-time data to guide the probe through the brain to the tumor. There, the surgeons can put the probe into the cancerous mass and destroy it from the inside out with a laser. Essentially, this new tool allows surgeons to cook the tumor with lethal heat that they can control with unprecedented ability. The tumor is destroyed and the healthy surrounding tissue is preserved. It is the only system in the world that allows surgeons to see the tumor in 3-D, providing them with critical information they need to make treatment decisions in the operating room.

“We are extremely proud of our outstanding alumni and congratulate them on this well-deserved national award,” says Dr. David T. Barnard, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba. “Their life-saving technology is having a global impact and Manitobans should be proud of the tremendous work being done at the St-Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, the University’s long-time research partner.”

University of Manitoba professors last won a Manning Principal Award in 2010: Professor Werner Ens and Ken Standing were recognized for their work in the field of mass spectrometry that has profoundly shaped drug development, disease studies and agriculture.

About the Award

Since 1982, The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has been creating a culture of innovation in Canada by discovering, celebrating and rewarding Canadian innovators of all ages. We tell the stories of Canadian innovators who are improving the lives of Canadians and others around the world through their commercialized innovations.

(L-R) Dr. Digvir Jayas, VP Research and International, University of Manitoba; Dr. Mark Torchia, Associate Professor of Surgery, College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; Mr. Richard Tyc, Vice President, Technology and Advanced Development, Monteris Medical; Mr. Chuck LaFléche, President and CEO, St-Boniface Hospital Foundation; Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St-Boniface Hospital – © Josh Schaefer/GetMyPhoto.ca

(L-R) Dr. Digvir Jayas, VP Research and International, University of Manitoba; Dr. Mark Torchia, Associate Professor of Surgery, College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; Mr. Richard Tyc, Vice President, Technology and Advanced Development, Monteris Medical; Mr. Chuck LaFléche, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation; Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital – © Josh Schaefer/GetMyPhoto.ca

Related:
Monteris Medical website
St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and Monteris Medical
Manning Award Press Release
University of Manitoba
St. Boniface Hospital Research spin-off companies
Manning Awards website
Winnipeg Free Press article (Paywall)
Global News Story

For more information contact:

St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre
Bill Peters
bpeters@sbrc.ca
Communications & Media Services
(204) 258-1325

University of Manitoba
Janine.Harasymchuk@umanitoba.ca
Marketing Communications Office
(204) 474-7300

For reporters and producers looking for experts and breaking news, follow us on Twitter:
St. Boniface Hospital Research: @sbrc
University of Manitoba: @UM_Today

 

Dr. Mark Torchia speaks with local media – © Josh Schaefer/GetMyPhoto.ca

Dr. Mark Torchia speaks with local media – © Josh Schaefer/GetMyPhoto.ca

 

Dr. Mark Torchia and Mr. Richard Tyc receive Earnest C. Manning Award from John Read, Board Chair of the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation. – © Josh Schaefer/GetMyPhoto.ca

Dr. Mark Torchia and Mr. Richard Tyc receive Earnest C. Manning Award from John Read, Board Chair of the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation. – © Josh Schaefer/GetMyPhoto.ca

 

Dr. Mark Torchia presents NeuroBlate® System at the Earnest C. Manning Awards – © Josh Schaefer/GetMyPhoto.ca

Dr. Mark Torchia presents NeuroBlate® System at the Earnest C. Manning Awards – © Josh Schaefer/GetMyPhoto.ca

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