Glowing tumors that could improve cancer surgery are getting closer to reality

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January 27, 2016

Fluorescence detection, or “lighting up” a tumor’s surface area, could help surgeons more safely and accurately remove tumors. This would reduce the risk of cutting into and/or removing healthy brain tissue during surgery, or leaving behind tumor cells and the cancer recurring. As a result, scientists say fluorescence detection can lead to improved surgery success rates, requiring fewer second or third surgeries.

Matthew Bogyo, associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, writes about the progress of optical probes that use fluorescence in the January 21 issue of the journal Cell Chemical Biology

Currently, clinical trial data is still needed to show that the contrast dyes used to create fluorescence are safe and can effectively distinguish between cancerous and healthy tissue, which is a major hurdle to implementing this in current treatment for brain tumor patients.  

“Fluorescence guidance would be useful for any kind of surgical procedure involving removal of a tumor mass,” said Bogyo.

To read the full study, click here