We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
LGC Clinical Diagnostics

Download Mobile App

Innovative Technique for Distinguishing Tumor from Normal Tissue to Improve Surgical Resections

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 17 Oct 2023
Print article
Image: The visual and quantitative technique has been tested using specimens from multiple cancer types (Photo courtesy of Mass General Brigham)
Image: The visual and quantitative technique has been tested using specimens from multiple cancer types (Photo courtesy of Mass General Brigham)

Taking out a tumor from a patient while leaving healthy tissue untouched is a delicate operation, often dependent on the surgeon's eyes and hands to guide the scalpel. Several technologies like fluorescence imaging and advanced microscopy have been explored to better visualize tumors during surgery. However, these methods haven't gained widespread use and are generally applicable only to certain kinds or subtypes of cancer. Fluorescence imaging involves using dyes to highlight cancer-specific molecules, but traditional imaging methods can be unreliable in identifying the boundaries between tumors and healthy tissue. This is due to the varying expression of these molecules both within and among different tumor types. Now, a new visualization tool combines high-speed cameras and fluorescent injection to differentiate tumor tissue from normal tissue across cancer types during resection surgery.

The new imaging technology, known as fluorescence lifetime (FLT) imaging, was developed by a team led by investigators at Mass General Brigham (Somerville, MA, USA). Instead of solely depending on dyes to target cancerous cells, the new method employs high-speed cameras to observe changes in the property of light emitted by the tissue. Prior studies in animal models had shown that when mice with tumors were injected with a dye called indocyanine green (ICG), the tumor tissue displayed a longer fluorescence lifetime compared to the surrounding healthy tissue. Capitalizing on this discovery, the team began to test this method on human samples, specifically those from patients about to undergo liver surgery who had been given an ICG injection at least one day prior.

Expanding on this initial work, the researchers partnered with multiple institutions to assess tissue samples from over 60 patients, suffering from various types of cancer including liver, brain, tongue, skin, bone, and soft tissue. They discovered that the FLT shift was consistent at the cellular level across these different types of tumors. Moreover, the method could also differentiate between benign and cancerous lymph nodes. It achieved an impressive accuracy rate of over 97% in distinguishing tumor tissue from healthy tissue. It's worth noting that while ICG has received FDA approval for other medical uses, it is not yet approved for clinical use as a tumor marking agent. The researchers are planning a larger clinical trial to further investigate the safety and effectiveness of using FLT imaging with ICG in tumor identification during surgical procedures.

“This technology has taken us to the brink of a revolution in solid tumor surgery,” said Mark Varvares, MD, chief of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Mass Eye and Ear. “By using the advanced imaging techniques combined with the dye, surgeons in the near future will have the ability to more completely remove all malignant cells during tumor surgery while at the same time, with confidence, spare normal tissue, enhancing postoperative function and in some cases, the patient’s appearance.”

Related Links:
Mass General Brigham 

Platinum Supplier
COVID-19 Rapid Test
OSOM COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test
Gold Supplier
Blood Ammonia Test Analyzer
POCT Fluorescent Immunoassay Analyzer
Flow Cytometry Software
iQue Forecyt

Print article


Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: A module with eight micro-devices, complete with microfluidic channels and drive motors (Photo courtesy of U.S Department of Energy)

Highly Sensitive pH Sensor to Aid Detection of Cancers and Vector-Borne Viruses

Understanding the acidity or alkalinity of substances through pH measurement is crucial in many fields, from environmental monitoring to healthcare product safety. In many cases, these measurements must... Read more

Molecular Diagnostics

view channel
Image: The PrismRA blood test helps target best treatments for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (Photo courtesy of Scipher Medicine)

Groundbreaking Rheumatoid Arthritis Blood Test Predicts Treatment Response

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease affecting joints and other systems in the body, impacts millions globally. Typically, the initial biologic treatment involves anti-inflammatory drugs from... Read more


view channel
Image: The QScout hematology analyzer has received US FDA 510(k) clearance (Photo courtesy of Ad Astra Diagnostics)

First Rapid-Result Hematology Analyzer Reports Measures of Infection and Severity at POC

Sepsis, a critical medical condition that arises as an extreme response to infection, poses a significant health threat. It occurs when an infection triggers a widespread inflammatory response in the body.... Read more


view channel
Image: PointCheck is the world’s first device for non-invasive white cell monitoring (Photo courtesy of Leuko Labs)

World’s First Portable, Non-Invasive WBC Monitoring Device to Eliminate Need for Blood Draw

One of the toughest challenges for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy is experiencing a low count of white blood cells, also known as neutropenia. These cells play a crucial role in warding off infections.... Read more


view channel
Image: Current testing methods for antibiotic susceptibility rely on growing bacterial colonies in the presence of antibiotics (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test Returns Results within 30 Minutes

In 2019, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was responsible for the deaths of approximately 1.3 million individuals. The conventional approach for testing antimicrobial susceptibility involves cultivating... Read more


view channel
Image: AI methods used in satellite imaging can help researchers analyze tumor images (Photo courtesy of Karolinska Institutet)

AI Approach Combines Satellite Imaging and Ecology Techniques for Analysis of Tumor Tissue

Advancements in tumor imaging technology have significantly enhanced our ability to observe the minute details of tumors, but this also brings the challenge of interpreting vast amounts of data generated... Read more


view channel
Image: The acquisition significantly expands Medix Biochemica’s portfolio of IVD raw materials (Photo courtesy of ViroStat)

Medix Biochemica Acquires US-Based ViroStat to Expand Infectious Diseases Antibody Offering

Medix Biochemica (Espoo, Finland), a supplier of critical raw materials to the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry, has acquired ViroStat LLC (Portland, ME, USA), a provider of infectious disease antibodies... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.