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Imaging technique could enable surgeons to see and remove malignant tumour with ease

ANI 

Researchers have developed a new technique that could enable surgeons to clearly see malignant growth that is often difficult to completely eliminate. The technique uses a synthetic version of a compound found in

The study was published in the journal

The new technique uses a special high-sensitivity near-infrared camera, along with the agent tozuleristide, or BLZ-100. The agent contains a synthetic version of an amino acid compound found in

Like the natural form of the compound, the synthetic version is not toxic and binds to cells. It is attached to a fluorescent dye that glows when stimulated by a near-infrared

Viewed through the camera, the imaging agent might allow neurosurgeons to detect the boundaries between and healthy brain tissue during surgery, improving the opportunity for surgeons to remove cells while sparing normal brain tissue.

"With this fluorescence, you see the so much clearer because it lights up like a tree," said Adam Mamelak, of the study.

This is important because of the sprawling nature of gliomas, the type of imaged during the trial. are highly lethal and comprise about 33 per cent of all

They can infiltrate brain tissue with tentacle-like structures, making them difficult to distinguish from normal brain tissue. They typically do not respond to traditional therapies such as and The key to extending patient survival depends on a surgeon's ability to detect and remove all parts of the tumour.

In the clinical trial, 17 adult patients with were given varying doses of BLZ-100 before Despite the varying amounts of the drug given, the majority of tumours fluoresced, including both high- and low-grade

After surgery, patients were monitored for 30 days. Investigators found that none of the patients had any serious adverse responses to the drug and that the imaging system was safe and could be useful for imaging the brain tumours during

More clinical trials are needed to further evaluate the safety of the imaging system and demonstrate the system's effectiveness before BLZ-100 can gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration, and the camera used in the trial must be refined before it can be used seamlessly in an operating room. But Mamelak said the clinical trial results were promising.

"For a surgeon, this seamless integration of into the surgical microscope is very appealing," Mamelak said.

Unlike other that are bulkier or rely on multiple cameras, the new imaging system uses a single camera that takes both near-infrared and white-light images by alternating between a and normal white lights at very high speeds. This technology enables surgeons to easily switch back and forth between "normal" vision using a surgical microscope and fluorescent "super-vision" on a nearby monitor, in

The next phase of this research, already underway, is a clinical trial involving This trial will serve as a data set for potential FDA approval. A similar adult clinical trial is also being planned.

"The technique in this study holds great promise not only for brain tumours but for many other types in which we need to identify the margins of The ultimate goal is to bring greater precision to the surgical care we provide to our patients," said Keith L. Black, MD, of the Department of at Cedars-

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 10 2019. 13:50 IST
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