High-Tech Glasses Help Surgeons Find Cancer

Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 04:07 PM

By Nick Tate

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New high-tech surgical glasses have been developed that allow doctors to "see" cancer cells in the operating room, helping them distinguish tumors from healthy tissues.

When viewed through the special glasses, designed by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, cancer cells appear to glow blue under a special light, thanks to a fluorescent marker injected in the tumor that attaches only to cancerous and not to healthy cells.

Editor's Note: Knowing these 5 cancer-causing signs is crucial to remaining cancer-free for life
 
According to Medical News Today, more concentrated cancer cells appear lighter shades of blue.
 
Julie Margenthaler, M.D., a breast surgeon and associate professor of surgery at Washington University who conducted the first operation using the wearable technology, noted the glasses are still in early stages of development. But the initial tests have been promising.
 
"Imagine what it would mean if these glasses eliminated the need for follow-up surgery and the associated pain, inconvenience and anxiety," she said.
 
Cancer cells are often difficult to distinguish from healthy tissues and surgeons are not always able to remove all of the tumor tissue and avoid leaving behind stray cancer cells.
But the new glasses hold out the hope that surgeons will soon be able to remove all cancer cells from patients, reducing the need for follow-up surgery.
 
"This technology has great potential for patients and health care professionals," said Samuel Achilefu, professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at Washington University who led the team that developed the device, detailed in the Journal of Biomedical Optics. "Our goal is to make sure no cancer is left behind."
 
Editor's Note: Knowing these 5 cancer-causing signs is crucial to remaining cancer-free for life


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