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

d an important step in the path to assessing its value in improving patient care.

"This approach could lead to real-time, image-guided surgery without interference with surgical care and without the administration of labeling agents," said Agar, who co-led the study. "Such extensive and detailed information about the tissue was previously unavailable to surgeons and could lead to more precise tumor removal. In addition, having access to a detailed diagnosis on the day of surgery could help the oncologist more efficiently design the course of adjuvant therapy."Dr. Alexandra Golby, director of Image-Guided Neurosurgery in Brigham and Women's Hospital's neurosurgery department and paper co-author, said brain tumors are particularly challenging to remove.

"Tumor tissue within the brain often closely resembles normal brain tissue and may have indistinct boundaries, so it is difficult to determine where the tumor ends and the normal brain tissue begins," said Golby, who also is the clinical co-director of AMIGO. "We want to preserve as much functional brain tissue as possible, especially when a tumor is in a critical area of the brain, like that which supports movement, speaking or vision."

Current surgical methods rely on the surgeon's trained eye with the help of an operating microscope and imaging from scans performed before surgery.

Pathological examination of specimens taken from the brain during surgery provides the most specific information about the tissue and diagnosis of the cancer. However, this examination of frozen sections takes about half an hour, which is too long for it to be useful in examining multiple samples and guiding surgery, said Dr. Sandro Santagata, a pathologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital who participated in the research.

"The new tool is able - in a matter of seconds - to identify and classify glioma and meningioma tumors and recognize the tumor grade," Santagata said. "It is able to establish
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Contact: Elizabeth K. Gardner
ekgardner@purdue.edu
765-494-2081
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

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