April 15, 2016
Local recurrence is common after patients with solid tumors undergo surgery.
The current process requires the pathologist to look at tissue samples immediately after surgery. Often, the margins are not clear in pathology reports, and sometimes, the reports are inaccurate. If surgeons could detect residual cancer in the tumor bed during surgery, they might be able to increase the surgical margin, reduce the likelihood of re-excision, and select adjuvant therapies specific to the patient's cancer and stage.
A study published in Science Translational Medicine indicated residual detection was more than just a dream.
A team of researchers from Duke University School of Medicine working with scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Lumicell Inc. tested a new injectable agent that causes cancerous tumor cells to fluoresce, which could help surgeons spot all cancerous cells early.