New Technique Helps Surgeons Find Ovarian Tumors Invisible to Naked Eye
An article in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, reports that in a small, exploratory study a new tumor-specific fluorescent agent and imaging system helped surgeons remove additional tumors in ovarian cancer patients that were not visible to the naked eye or that could not be felt or palpated during surgery.
"In our study, using a tumor-specific fluorescent agent and a dedicated imaging system, a fluorescent signal was detected in tumors in real time during a surgical procedure for ovarian cancer called cytoreduction," said Alexander L. Vahrmeijer MD, PhD, head of the Image-guided Surgery group in the Department of Surgery at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, quoted at ScienceDaily.com. "This allowed resection of additional tumor lesions that were not visible to the surgeons' naked eyes. Although more research is needed, this is hopefully the first step toward improving the surgical outcome of cancer patients."
Vahrmeijer also noted that researchers "cannot say yet what the impact of our findings is on cure or survival of the patients. It is reasonably plausible to assume that if more cancer is removed the survival will be better. However, long-term follow-up studies need to be performed in large patient groups to prove such effects."