Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fluorescent Cancer Cells To Guide Brain Surgeons

Date:
April 9, 2009
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Malignant brain tumors grow with fine extensions which make them hard to distinguish from healthy brain tissue during surgery. Scientists have developed a staining method that makes tumor cells glow in yellow-green. Thus, borders between tumor tissue and normal tissue become visible during the entire operation, which makes resection easier for brain surgeons.

Gliomas are malignant brain tumors that arise from glial (supporting) cells of the brain. Gliomas are often resistant to chemotherapy. These tumors grow fine extensions that infiltrate normal brain tissue and, in addition, individual tumor cells can form satellites in surrounding tissue. Therefore, it is almost impossible to remove the tumor tissue completely by surgery.

Yet, radical surgical removal of the tumor would substantially improve the prognosis of patients. Surgeons are confronted with the difficulty of discriminating between tumor tissue and healthy brain tissue during surgery. Dr. Eva Frei of DKFZ, collaborating with doctors and researchers of the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University, has now developed a method to improve neurosurgery.

The scientists took advantage of the fact that tumors cover their increased energy needs, among other things, by taking up large amounts of the blood protein albumin. The researchers attached a fluorescent substance (5-aminofluorescein) to albumin, which is distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream and eventually accumulates in the brain tumor. Laser light causes the substance to glow and makes the fine extensions of the tumor visible.

"Other contrast agents often fade," says Dr. Eva Frei, "for tumor resection can take five to six hours." The fluorescence marker attached to albumin, however, is visible during the entire operation.

The scientists tested the albumin method in thirteen patients with malignant gliomas. In nine cases it was possible to remove the fluorescent tumor tissue completely thanks to the intensive yellow-green light signal. The researchers calculated that the probability of the glowing tissue being tumor cells is 97 percent.

"Staining is a tremendous help for the surgeon, because he or she can recognize the exact borders between tumor and normal brain tissue, which is normally very difficult," explains Eva Frei. "Another problem is that the tumor often exerts pressure on the meninx so that, when it is opened for surgery, the tumor shifts or changes its shape." The new method takes account of this 'brain shift' effect and makes the effort of intraoperative MRTs unnecessary. Further advantages of the new method are that it is tolerable, inexpensive and easy to apply.

Tolerability and effectiveness of the staining method will be validated next year in a larger study involving several hospitals. The scientists will monitor in a long-term study whether the prognosis of patients will improve as a result of the new method.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paul Kremer, Mahmoudreza Fardanesh, Reinhard Ding, Maria Pritsch, Saida Zoubaa and Eva Frei. Intraoperative fluorescence staining of malignant brain tumors using 5-aminofluorescein-labeled albumin. Neurosurgery, 2009; DOI: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000335787.17029.67

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Fluorescent Cancer Cells To Guide Brain Surgeons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090403103952.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2009, April 9). Fluorescent Cancer Cells To Guide Brain Surgeons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090403103952.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Fluorescent Cancer Cells To Guide Brain Surgeons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090403103952.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins