Arizona doctors and researchers are developing cutting-edge treatments for everything from incontinence to brain tumors.
In a potentially disruptive breakthrough for the field of spine surgery, Scottsdale brain and spine surgeon Dr. Dilan Ellegala invented a minimally invasive ultrasonic tool that spares some patients the need for spinal fusion surgery. The company he founded, Sonospine, has pioneered a technique that allows surgeons to sculpt away damaged disc and bone in a highly targeted fashion to avoid disturbing surrounding bones and muscles. The process decompresses pinched nerves and eliminates the need to insert rods and screws into the spine – a practice that often has a “ripple effect,” causing more back problems down the road. The technology, which is not dissimilar from a Waterpik, can also be used to treat herniated discs, bone spurs, spinal stenosis and more.
9377 E. Bell Rd., Scottsdale
Robert Keller, Ph.D., the Northern Arizona University professor behind Axolotl Biologix, gained inspiration from the regenerative powers of the axolotl, also known as the Mexican salamander, which is capable of growing and replacing any limb throughout its lifetime. Hoping to harness the secrets behind this ability, Axolotl Biologix developed a variety of treatments to help patients recovering from injuries avoid surgery and painkillers with physician-recommended products. This particular shot offers a way to stimulate tissue repair and reconstruction. It is anti-inflammatory and works with your body’s cells to encourage regeneration of damaged tissues.
1637 W. Knudsen Dr., Phoenix
This buzzworthy procedure aims to treat urinary incontinence in women, with the added benefit of improving sexual satisfaction. Dr. Jennessa Iannitelli, a cosmetic surgeon and regenerative medicine specialist based in Glendale, underwent the procedure herself two years ago and now performs it for her clients. Plasma-rich platelets are taken from a patient’s blood sample and injected into the clitoris to stimulate tissue growth. The procedure is not FDA-approved. Prices range from $1,200-$1,800.
Advanced Image Med Spa
7942 W. Bell Rd., Glendale
Arizona Breast Cancer specialists
Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists co-founder Robert Kuske, M.D., presented research at the latest San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium showing that less radiation may be needed to provide effective treatment for breast cancer. His method, partial breast irradiation, involves a five-day course of radiation treatment and shows less than 1 percent difference in reoccurrence rates from the whole breast irradiation method, a traditionally recommended six-week course of radiation therapy. The new method targets pockets of cancerous tissue to reduce the negative side effects of greater radiation exposure while saving time for patients.
Four Valley locations, 480-922-4600
Ivy Brain Tumor Center
The Ivy Brain Tumor Center is a new research institute funded by the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation at Barrow Neurological Institute. It searches for treatments specifically to fight glioblastomas, the type of brain cancer that gained notoriety after the late Senator John McCain received that diagnosis. As a top-ranked hospital of neurology and neurosurgery in Arizona, Barrow received $50 million, the “single largest research grant in the history of brain tumor research,” per a press release from the organization, to individualize therapy for clients, create experimental treatments and search for cures.
350 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix