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New tool to help brain surgeons 1 step closer to operating room
Date:1/10/2013

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A new tool that could allow for faster, more comprehensive testing of brain tissue during surgery successfully identified the cancer type, grade and tumor margins in five brain surgery patients, according to a Purdue University and Brigham and Women's Hospital study.

The tool sprays a microscopic stream of charged solvent onto the tissue surface to gather information about its molecular makeup and produces a color-coded image that reveals the nature and concentration of tumor cells.

Researchers analyzed specimens removed from the patients, but the goal is to one day be able to perform the analysis on intact brain tissue during surgery, said R. Graham Cooks, the Purdue professor who co-led the research team.

"We hope to eventually be able to perform this analysis during surgery to help guide brain surgeons so that the borders of tumors can be identified and the cancer status of a site can be established before any tissue is removed," said Cooks, who is the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. "We aren't there yet, but this was a critical step in the process. It shows we've found easily identifiable molecular patterns that can be used to diagnose the type and concentration of cancer cells."

Purdue researchers designed the tool and collaborated with researchers and physicians at Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School to perform the study. The brain surgery was performed in the Advanced Multi-Modality Image Guided Operating suite, or AMIGO, and in standard operating rooms at Brigham and Women's Hospital. A paper detailing the results will be published in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is published online.

Dr. Nathalie Agar, director of the Surgical Molecular Imaging Laboratory within the neurosurgery department at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said the findings showed the analysis method's potential and achieve
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Contact: Elizabeth K. Gardner
ekgardner@purdue.edu
765-494-2081
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

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