The Radiotherapy Department of the Princess Grace Hospital Centre successfully completed last week the treatment of a patient with severe neuralgia of the trigeminal cranial nerve. This is a first both in Monaco and the Alpes-Maritimes.
The technique consists of irradiating at a very high dose the nerve in question in order to create a shortcircuit and block the painful impulse. The feat required many months of parameterization by teams at the Princess Grace Hospital and close collaboration with the Neurosurgery Department of Nice University Hospital.
In addition to the long work of setting up the Truebeam Novalis particle accelerator, one of the objectives was to offer the patient a treatment with a non-invasive compression system. On other machines, the irradiation session requires total immobilisation of the patient with fixation of the skull by screws, which many patients find too uncomfortable.
The CHPG teams have developed an irradiation technique with a thermoformed mask on the face of the patient, in order to ensure better comfort during the 45 minutes of treatment. This has borne fruit very quickly with a complete disappearance of pain after a few hours.
Trigeminal neuralgia is severe facial pain due to malfunction of the 5th cranial nerve, or trigeminal nerve, which carries sensory information from the face to the brain and controls the muscles involved in chewing.