Illuminating cancer cells aiding surgery now a reality

The success of this technology that we're about to report may just be the ray of light for those all who suffer from cancer, quite literally. According to a report, which appeared in Nature medicine, the latest findings put forth by researchers of the Purdue University, Indiana, U.S., it is now possible to pick out every single cancerous tumour present in the patient's body, regardless of its size with perfection. fluroscence-guided surgery is the brainchild of Biochemistry professor, Philips Low, from the Purdue University. If professor Low's theories hold any water then cancer cells, or tumors present in a patient's body can glow during a surgery, thereby enabling the doctor pick all these cancerous objects from the patient's body with ease and perfection. 

Ray of light?

Ray of light? (Image source: Getty Images)



For those gaping in wonder, the technique is no magic, but, brilliancy of medical science, and of course professor Low. Cancerous cells differ in sizes, while some may be easily visible to the naked eye, others which measure roughly as much as one-tenth of a millimeter gets easy to miss, but fatal. ovarian cancer cells are one such kind of cancer cells that are particularly difficult to notice. The fluroscence-guided surgery technique, essentially uses a fluroscent imaging agent, which is attached to a modified form of vitamin folic acid. A combination of the two acts as a 'homing device', which goes and attaches itself to Ovarian cancer cells.


Almost two hours before the scheduled surgery, the patient is injected with the above mentioned combination, the setup is aided by a special camera called multispectral fluorescence camera, which when injected does the magic. The cancerous cells are then illuminated, and the entire imagery is viewed by the surgeon-in-charge on the flat-screen monitor placed, alongside. 

Published Date: Sep 20, 2011 06:38 pm | Updated Date: Sep 20, 2011 06:38 pm