To help surgeons in the operating table, scientists are developing new health care innovations -which is currently being tested in England- that can make cancer cells in the brain glow in the dark.
Patients with brain tumors is injected with a drug called, 5-amino-levulinic acid (5-ALA), which will trigger the accumulation of fluorescent chemicals in cancer cells or tumors. In theory, according to BBC, light pink is to mark the edge of the tumor so it makes it easier for the surgical team to perform a removal.
The trial will involve more than 60 patients with glioblastoma. All have cancerous glial cells, which generally nests in the brain neural networks. Those who suffer from this illness are generally only able to survive about 15 months after diagnosis.
Of all the types of tumor handling, surgery on the brain is the most risky type. Surgical team could may still lift some of the surrounding tissues when performing a surgical removal of colon tumors. But for the surgical removal of tumors in the brain, the condition can be fatal if the healthy tissues are also lifted. There is no space for error when performing removal of the tumor in the brain.
Accordingto Dr Colin Watts from the University of Cambridge, this finding is important because the surgical team do not want to take healthy tissue during a surgery. Experiments were also performed to examine whether the application of drugs directly to tumors can improve the patient’s life expectancy.
Kate Law, director of clinical research from a cancer research institute in the UK, says, “Treating brain tumors is the real challenge faced by doctors and we urgently need new treatments to help more people who are diagnosed with the disease.”Tagged with: brain cancer, Cancer, glow in the dark tumor, Tumor,