Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New research method to identify brain tumors could enhance neurosurgery

Date:
January 9, 2013
Source:
Stony Brook Medicine
Summary:
The use of a new brain tumor-targeting contrast agent that differentiates between normal and cancer cells in conjunction with a high-powered microscopy system could potentially lead to a method of more precise neurosurgery for brain tumors, according to research paper. The contrast agent adheres to a molecular marker of medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer, and can be seen by the optical microscope system, also developed by the research team.

Dr. Jonathan T.C. Liu demonstrates the potential use of a miniature microscope prototype as part of a new method to identify brain tumors with research team members and Biomedical Engineering graduate students Danni Wang and Steven Leigh.
Credit: Image courtesy of Stony Brook Medicine

The use of a new brain tumor-targeting contrast agent that differentiates between normal and cancer cells in conjunction with a high-powered microscopy system could potentially lead to a method of more precise neurosurgery for brain tumors, according to research paper published as a cover story in the December issue of Translational Oncology. Developed by researchers in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Stony Brook University, the contrast agent adheres to a molecular marker of medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer, and can be seen by the optical microscope system, also developed by the research team.

In their article entitled "Microscopic Delineation of Medulloblastoma Margins in a Transgenic Mouse Model Using a Topically Applied VEGFR-1 Probe," Stony Brook researchers Dr. Jonathan T.C. Liu, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and BME graduate students Danni Wang, Steven Y. Leigh, and Ye Chen, and colleagues from Stanford University, created a contrast agent that adheres to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR-1), which is overexpressed on the surface of many medulloblastoma cell lines and primary tissues. The team developed a VEGFR-1 chemical targeting agent that was topically applied to sample tissue.

Based on the research model, which confirmed cancerous tissue through histopathology, the team discovered that by using the contrast agent in conjunction with laser-scanning 3D microscopy, the optical contrast agent caused tumors to "glow"with fluorescence at each of the tumor margins. The process enabled the research team to define tumor margins, including residual tumor cells.

Their approach may have significant implications in the surgical treatment of medulloblastoma because, the authors explain: "Bulk tumor resection remains the first line of treatment, where it has been shown that the completeness of tumor resection correlates strongly with the survival of patients. The goal of neurosurgeons is to maximize the removal of tumor while minimizing the removal of normal tissues.

"The current gold standard for assessing malignancy is histopathology of biopsied tissue samples. However, this is rarely performed at the tumor margins during resection because of the time required for frozen sections to be prepared and interpreted by a pathologist. Furthermore, histopathology is expensive and requires the removal of brain tissue regardless of the state of the tissue."

"There is a great need for a noninvasive method to rapidly and accurately visualize residual malignancy to assist surgeons during the tumor resection process, and we think that our research results provides a foundation and approach toward that ultimate goal," said Dr. Liu, Principal Investigator. "Our chemical probe with utilization of a microscope custom-built to view molecular protein biomarkers in three dimensions identifies tumor margins with accuracy that could potentially approach the gold standard of pathology based on tissue biopsies."

The authors said that next step in the research is to investigate the ability of the VEGFR-1 fluorescent probe, used in conjunction with their microscope and optical system, to enhance surgical resection in experimental models and ultimately in patients.

"We are also developing miniature microscopes, essentially hand-held devices with the same capability for three-dimensional imaging, which are designed to be an intraoperative guidance for neurosurgery," explained Dr. Liu.

To further advance this hand-held microscopy and imaging technology, Dr. Liu's team and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have received a three-year $2.4 million grant from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research to develop a miniature hand-held confocal microscope for early detection of oral cancers. Dr. Liu said the technology is based on an advanced confocal architecture to enable high speed microscopy of tissues and would be similarly developed for a hand-held microscope for neurosurgery.

More broadly, the research team believes that the combination of intraoperative confocal microscopy with molecularly targeted contrast agents has the potential to serve as a valuable complement to current image-guided surgery approaches, such as those with MRI or CT, for resection of brain tumors and other forms of cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stony Brook Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Danni Wang, Ye Chen, Steven Y. Leigh, Henry Haeberle, Christopher H. Contag, Jonathan T. C. Liu. Microscopic Delineation of Medulloblastoma Margins in a Transgenic Mouse Model Using a Topically Applied VEGFR-1 Probe. Translational Oncology, 2012; 5 (6): 408-414 DOI: 10.1593/tlo.12277

Cite This Page:

Stony Brook Medicine. "New research method to identify brain tumors could enhance neurosurgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109160934.htm>.
Stony Brook Medicine. (2013, January 9). New research method to identify brain tumors could enhance neurosurgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109160934.htm
Stony Brook Medicine. "New research method to identify brain tumors could enhance neurosurgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109160934.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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