Partner Highlight: NICO

How we optimize GBM patient success with NICO's innovative tools

CTOAM Partner Highlight: NICO

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What is NICO?

NICO Corporation is an innovative company that produces new technologies and medical devices for brain surgery through the integration of imaging and intervention. These life-saving devices are specifically designed to help glioblastoma patients and patients with tumors that have metastasized to the brain.

These new tools provide surgeons with a new approach to glioblastoma and brain surgery that is safer, less disruptive, and more efficient. This allows for greater overall efficacy for everyone involved: the patient, surgeon, and other members of the patient’s healthcare team.

In other words: NICO helps patients with glioblastoma and brain tumors to avoid needing a craniotomy! See more on this topic below.

How NICO helps glioblastoma patients:

Here is a further breakdown to explain how NICO's two main groundbreaking tools and techniques help patients with glioblastoma and patients with brain metastasis.

1. NICO has the most advanced and beneficial surgical tool and system for the removal of glioblastoma and brain tumors, called the NicoMyriad BrainPath. This device and system has many benefits:

  • Minimally invasive – far less than a craniotomy
  • Removes much more of the tumor(s) than a craniotomy
  • Does not use heat and therefore does not burn any part of the brain – as opposed to a craniotomy
  • Enables the patient to get up and walk out after the surgery (!) – as opposed to a craniotomy, which is a massive surgery that requires significant hospital time and recovery time
  • Produces much less damage to the brain overall

Simply put, the BrainPath surgical tool and its accompanying techniques allow patients to avoid needing a craniotomy.

2. NICO has also developed a tool to ensure that surgeons get the best possible tumor sample for genetic testing, called APS (Automated Preservation System). The reality of tumor biopsy samples is this: over 40% of the time with standard biopsy surgery, the sample fails by the time it gets to the genetic testing lab.*

NICO’s APS is designed to solve the problem of tumor sample quality. Currently it’s used in conjunction with the BrainPath for glioblastoma tumors and brain tumors. However, we hope that in the future APS will be used for any tumor biopsy, anywhere in the body, to ensure quality tumor samples for all cancer patients.

*Please note: CTOAM has measures in place to ensure that our tumor biopsy samples almost never fail. Our Chief Research Scientist, Alex Rolland, has created a process that includes so many additional preventative measures and solutions – such as, using laser capture microdissection (LCM) and more – that our lab team is able to get a really good quality, highly purified tumor sample, almost 100% of the time.

About glioblastoma and brain tumors

Glioblastoma is a particularly challenging type of cancer: glioblastoma patients, sadly, typically have a very poor prognosis. There are limited treatment options available for glioblastoma, as well as for brain tumors in general, since it’s difficult to get treatments that can successfully cross the blood-brain barrier.

Typically patients with glioblastoma, or whose tumors have metastasized to the brain, require a craniotomy. This is an incredibly invasive form of brain surgery designed to remove tumors in the brain. There are many challenges involved with craniotomies. Therefore, the tools and technologies developed by NICO are truly life-saving and life-changing for patients with glioblastoma and cancer patients with metastasis to the brain.

Real life case story

NICO’s minimally invasive BrainPath technique has saved many lives. For example, in the case of 10-year-old Sammy. When Sammy was diagnosed with a brain tumor, his parents feared the worst. But thanks to the NicoMyriad, and the minimally invasive BrainPath technique, doctors were able to remove his tumor with complete success...and Sammy was back to enjoying baseball and life as usual in no time. Without the use of this tool and technique, Sammy’s story would likely not have had this happy ending.

You can read more about Sammy’s story here.

How CTOAM works with NICO

CTOAM's cancer experts are big supporters of NICO and their set of tools and techniques, including the highly regarded NicoMyriad BrainPath device. We've arranged access to it for many of our glioblastoma patients, and patients with brain metastasis, when it comes time for their surgeries. It's an excellent, advanced device that has saved many lives.

Our team has been following NICO for over a decade, during which we have seen new devices for brain surgery come and go. We continue to recommend NICO because of its quality and the highly successful results it provides for those with glioblastoma and brain metastasis.

When our team sees that a patient of ours might benefit from the use of one of NICO’s devices for their upcoming brain surgery, we coordinate the necessary steps to ensure they have access to this technologically advanced surgical tool.

Staying ahead-of-the-curve

Even today, many neurosurgeons have not yet heard of this incredible, life-saving technique. Whereas our Chief Research Scientist, Alex Rolland, first began partnering with NICO over a decade ago!

It all started when Alex was conducting research to find a solution for our clients, a young male patient with glioblastoma. Alex’s research led him to discovering this groundbreaking tool and technique, and he immediately reached out to NICO's founder, Jim Pearson. Alex was invited to attend an exclusive 3-day training session with some of the world’s top neurosurgeons to learn about the device in greater detail. The training offered him an immersive, hands-on experience with this life-saving technique, taught by the esteemed Dr. Amin Kassam, MD.

Like CTOAM, NICO will always remain ahead-of-the-curve when it comes to advancements in cancer care and optimizing treatment protocols and technologies.

We are excited to see what further innovations NICO produces and we look forward to continuing to help our patients with glioblastoma or brain metastasis to access these life-saving tools and techniques. If you have an upcoming brain surgery – or if you think you might need it in future – and would like to know how Precision Oncology can help ensure you have the best possible outcome, please contact us today.

Watch our Video Interview

Expert Talks with CTOAM co-founder Michelle Morand and NICO

CTOAM co-founder and Precision Cancer Medicine Advocate, Michelle Morand, talks with NICO about the company’s life-saving innovations and how these new technologies are helping patients with glioblastoma and brain metastasis.

Video coming soon!

Learn more about NICO

NICO and partners

NICO YouTube

NICO Social Media


Discover How CTOAM and NICO Can Help You

If you’d like to find out how to access the very best innovative surgical tools for your cancer treatment, as fast as possible, reach out today.

Have questions? Email us anytime.

Please note: CTOAM does not earn any commission from any person, company, or organization that we promote, work with, partner with, or recommend to our patients and clients. Any recommendations we make are completely non-biased and entirely evidence-based. This has been our policy from day one, and will remain as such.

Additionally: While NICO and other innovative surgical tools can help to significantly increase the chance of surgery success for a patient with glioblastoma or brain metastasis, it’s important to note that our Precision Oncogenomics Program can also sometimes help patients avoid surgery entirely!

By using more accurate diagnostic tests than standard care offers, and getting patients on the right treatment fast, it’s possible that the cancer will shrink enough, and quickly enough, that surgery actually becomes unnecessary.

For example, one of our patients, Lilian, managed to avoid brain surgery even after her oncologist had recommended it – and she is now cancer free! Read more about Lilian’s case story here.

Learn how Precision Oncology can improve surgery for tumor removal (or help you avoid it altogether), and how PET/CT can ensure your surgery is more precise.

CTOAM is a Canadian-based personalized cancer research and advocacy service that connects cancer patients and their oncologists with the newest advancements in personalized cancer care and precision oncology. We serve patients and doctors worldwide.

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