"If we get out 95 to 99 percent of the tumor, we can almost essentially double the patient's survival," says Dr. Sloan.
Although 5-ALA is routinely used for FGR in Europe, it has not been approved by the FDA in the United States and thus is not widely used. UH Case Medical Center is one of a handful of hospitals studying the drug in the U.S. for brain tumor surgery.
Dr. Sloan, lead investigator of the study looking at the effects of varying 5-ALA dose levels, is collaborating with David Dean, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the Imaging Laboratory in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Case Western Reserve University.
Dr. Dean, an engineer, is working with Dr. Sloan to improve how FGR is performed by precisely measuring protoporphyrin ix fluorescence in tumors using a digital fiber-optic probe during surgery. Drs. Dean and Sloan believe that the digital probe will be both more sensitive and more precise than the current technique which is based on the surgeon's perception of how "pink" the tumor is.
The study is supported with funds from Dr. Sloan's Peter D. Cristal Chair in Neurosurgery and the Kimble Foundation.
"Nearly 13,000 people are diagnosed each year in the U.S. with malignant gliomas. Unfortunately, cures are rare and most patients live less than 2 years, so improved treatment options are critical," says Dr. Sloan.
|Contact: George Stamatis|
University Hospitals Case Medical Center