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22 January 2019

Vithas la Salud uses a technique that improves the survival rate for patients with brain tumours

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• The hospital's Neurosurgery team successfully performed a Fluorescence-Guided Tumour Resection
• The patient was discharged 72 hours after complete resection of a temporal glioma
• Vithas la Salud is the only private hospital in the area of Granada, Jaen and Almeria with an ultraviolet and infra-red light equipped surgical microscope
• This technology provides a higher survival rate for patients affected by glioma

The Neurosalus21, a neurosurgery team at the Vithas La Salud Hospital, formed by neurosurgeons Angel Horcajadas and Ana Maria Jorques, successfully performed last October the first intervention of a Fluorescence-Guided Tumour Resection on a patient affected by a temporal glioma. The surgery was fruitful, and the control MRI showed the complete resection of the lesion. The patient was discharged 72 hours after the surgery, in excellent condition.

Vithas la Salud is a part of the Vithas health group, which has 19 hospitals and 29 medical centres in Spain. The hospital has a department of Neurosciences with a wide array of specialists from the fields of Neurosurgery, Neurology, Neuroradiology, Neuroanaesthesia, Neurophysiology and Neurorehabilitation.

Fluorescence-Guided Tumour Resection is an innovative technique that requires a sophisticated surgical microscope and a fluorescent tumour marker. Vithas la Salud Hospital is the only private hospital in the area of Granada, Jaen and Almeria to boast a state-of-the-art Zeiss Pentero microscope. Further to allowing complex microsurgery operations, this microscope comes equipped with ultraviolet and infra-red light. The use of these unique microscope lamps provides remarkable advantages in the treatment of complex pathologies such as brain tumours and encephalic vascular malformations.

The use of ultraviolet light during surgery allows increasing the removal degree in certain brain tumours such as gliomas. Several studies have shown that the degree of tumour resection is related to the patient survival and patients who undergo fluorescence-guided surgery have a higher survival rate than those operated with conventional methods given that the ultraviolet light allows for a higher degree of tumour removal.

Performing this type of intervention requires an oral administration of a drug, approximately 4 hours before surgery. This drug, called 5-aminolevulinic acid (5- ALA), is metabolised in tumour cells but not in the healthy brain, resulting in a compound that becomes fluorescent with ultraviolet light. Such light allows identifying those areas in the brain infiltrated by a tumour that appears normal to the naked eye, therefore eliminating a tumour in total.

These specially designed surgical microscopes are also equipped with infra-red light that allows for intraoperative angiography to be performed, a tool very useful and vital in treating vascular malformations, since the permeability of the vessels being operated can always be ensured.

The Vithas Promise: high quality accredited healthcare, personal service and long term commitment

Vithas is the first healthcare operator with 100 por ciento Spanish capital. Its strategic commitment is defined by supporting the healthcare with the standards of quality accreditation of the highest international prestige, the Joint Commission International. Only 14 prestigious hospitals in Spain have such accreditation and recognition, and two of them are part of Vithas, in Madrid and Malaga. Each year Vithas cares for more than 5.000.000 patients in its 19 hospitals and 29 medical centres called Vithas Salud. The 48 centres are distributed throughout the country and include hospitals in Alicante, Almeria, Benalmadena, Castellon, Granada, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lleida, Madrid, Malaga, Sevilla, Tenerife, Vigo, Valencia and Vitoria- Gasteiz. The 29 Vithas Salud centres are located in Alicante, Almuñecar, Elche, El Ejido, Fuengirola, Granada, La Estrada, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lleida, Madrid, Malaga, Marin, Nerja, Pontevedra, Rincon de la Victoria, Sanxenxo, Sevilla, Torre del Mar, Torremolinos, Vilagarcia, and Vitoria-Gasteiz. Vithas also counts upon more than 300 extraction points spread throughout Spain thanks to its network of Vithas Lab laboratories. Its own central purchasing office, PlazaSalud24, as a leader in the sector, provides service to 39 hospitals, 35 medical centres and 20 dental clinics.

Vithas has a strategic agreement with a hospital leader in the Balearic Islands, the Juaneda Healthcare Network, which has 5 hospitals and a wide network of medical centres throughout the region.

Vithas' commitment to accredited quality healthcare and personalised service goes hand in hand with the firm support and long-term vision of Vithas' shareholders: Goodgrower, who control 80 por ciento of the capital, and the' La Caixa' group, with the remaining 20 por ciento. With a growth model based on geographical diversification and sustainability, Vithas plans to continue consolidating its national presence both by opening new centres and through acquisitions and strategic agreements.