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Laparoscopic Surgeons Develop Fluorescent Light Technique to Improve Pancreatic Cancer Detection
Date:10/24/2011

me.  We were able to perform LED fluorescence laparoscopy in mice with small, three millimeter laparoscopes."

The fluorescent marker did not show evidence of toxicity or side effects in the mice.  The combination of LED light and fluorescent markers for malignant tumors could potentially sharpen how surgeons detect and treat pancreatic cancer in human patients.  If patients have received the fluorescent antibodies prior to an operation, the surgeon can insert the LED laparoscope through a small incision and determine if the cancer has metastasized to other areas of the abdomen.  "If it has spread, then we can biopsy those areas and better determine if the best initial treatment should be chemotherapy and save the patient the large incision," Dr. Bouvet said.  "If there's no or limited metastases, then we can more completely remove the primary and metastatic tumors because we can see the edges better.  We're hoping for a lower rate of local recurrence."

Once the cancerous tumors are illuminated, Dr. Bouvet explains, the surgeons are able to more precisely remove the tumor and any surrounding malignant tissue without injuring the aorta and other nearby blood vessels.  Furthermore, another potential application for this technique could involve medically treating pancreatic cancer: "You could tag a specific drug or isotope to target tumor cells.  Since the fluorescent antibodies bind specifically to cancer cells, you could deliver certain payloads of drugs that would kill the cancer cells more effectively," Dr. Bouvet said.

The technique could also be applied to staging and treating colon cancer, which often is expressed through the same antibodies as pancreatic cancer and treated with the same laparoscopic technology.  Within the next four years, Dr. Bouvet plans to work with OncoFluor, Inc., a biotech company that develops fluorescent compounds for malignant tumors, on securing FDA approval for clinic
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SOURCE American College of Surgeons
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