• 01/10/2008

Obtaining cancerous stem cells heralds
significant advances in neurosurgery

On a scale of one to a hundred, in scientific terms how much do we know about the brain say 20. The brain is the least understood organ in the body, yet on the other hand neurosurgery is the most complex speciality due to the extremely complex functioning of the brain.

This is the first time a conference of this type has been held in Valencia since 1964. Such an event is long overdue, dont you think? We are extremely proud of the fact that four hospitals from the same city managed to reach an agreement because there has been considerable competition to host this event. We believe that this should be a scientific conference as opposed to a conference focusing on one particular department or person.

What are the latest developments in neurosurgery and neurosurgical research? It is worth highlighting several different aspects. Neurosurgical navigation is a system which enables us to enter the brain and find the precise location of any damage. The latest development involves being able to see the white matter tracts of the nervous system, which allows us to minimise the after-effects of surgery since the pathology can be dealt with much more accurately. Another innovation is the development of molecular biology from brain tumours, which allows us to obtain cancerous stem cells. This is helping us to understand the behaviour of these neoplasms much better. In the near future it may enable us to find different ways of treating the same tumour.

What results are being obtained by the introduction of endoscopies in this branch of medicine? Endoscopies are increasingly being used in our speciality and what used to resemble science fiction (removing a tumour from the base of the cranium) is becoming a reality. The method has been introduced as one more technique which must be learnt, mastered and perfected. It allows us to use less aggressive means of reaching certain areas of the brain compared to the major surgical operations which must still be carried out to remove tumours from complex areas.

What have the conference delegates mentioned to you about the city and the venue for the conference? People are impressed with our city as an up and coming destination in Spain and in Europe which can offer a wide range of venues in which to host conferences, such as this conference centre. At one stage, we were using more than six rooms at the same time to carry out different activities including seminars, symposiums, etc.