July 29, 2015
More than 80,000 people undergo resection of a pulmonary tumor each year, and currently the only method to determine if the tumor is malignant is histologic analysis. A new study reports that a targeted molecular contrast agent can be used successfully to cause lung adenocarcinomas to fluoresce during pulmonary surgery. This enables real-time optical imaging during surgery and the identification of cancer cells. The results are reported inThe Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, the official publication of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS).
"This approach may allow surgeons to perform resections with confidence that the entire tumor burden has been eliminated. In the future, with improved devices and molecular contrast agents, this approach may reduce the local recurrence rate and improve intraoperative identification of metastatic cancer cells," explained lead investigator Sunil Singhal, MD, of the Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine (Philadelphia).