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Voices Against Brain Cancer Commends a Surgical Innovation That Lights Up Brain Tumors
Date:3/13/2013

New York, NY (PRWEB) March 13, 2013

On March 13, Voices Against Brain Cancer (VABC), an organization dedicated to brain cancer research and advocacy, commends the use of a 5-ALA fluorescence guide used to resection aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumors as discussed in a recent article in the Oncology Nurse Advisor.

According to the Oncology Nurse Advisor, “Before surgery, the patient ingests 5-ALA, then the tumor cells fluoresce intraoperatively in response to certain wavelengths of light. This can provide information not necessarily available through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is the standard mode of imaging used to detect primary and recurrent GBMs. The additional information provided by 5-ALA fluorescence can guide surgeons in the treatment of individual cases.”

Because a patients’ survival relies on immediately extracting as much of the tumor as possible, surgeons are faced with a sense of urgency when dealing with GBM patients, and the new procedure enhances and expedites this process. The article describes how surgeons are using 5-ALA fluorescence to identify tumors and have been able to distinguish them from healthy brain tissue, revealing a “pathway between the original and recurrent lesions.”

Describing one patient's case, the article explains some details of the surgeons' process: “During surgery, a blue light was used to activate 5-ALA fluorescence of tumor cells, thus differentiating the tumor from other brain tissue. Using the blue light, the surgeons were also able to detect tumor cells along the lining of the right lateral ventricle, in the ependymal and subependymal regions.”

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