Highlighting Cancer

movimg1Cancer surgery is tricky because you don’t want to miss any cancer, but you also don’t want to cut healthy tissue. Now doctors are testing a new technique that uses a safe chemical highlighter, allowing surgeons to cut by colour.
John Frangioni and his collegues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston invented a camera that shows a part of the light spectrum that people can’t see. The dye gives off near infrared light, or what Frangioni dubs “invisible light.”

In this the trial, the researchers hope to confirm that using the invisible light system doesn’t interfere with surgeons’ workflow during breast cancer surgery, as well as its potential to be a better tracer of lymph fluid. Even though both the dye and the radioactive tracer are injected into the same area, doctors can evaluate them independently because they don’t interfere with each other. Frangioni hopes that ultimately, the new system will prove to have many other advantages, especially in cancer surgery, by better showing surgeons what to cut, and what to avoid.

See  more in this ScienCentral News video.