Lighting Up Ovarian Cancer

A new technique that makes ovarian cancer cells glow white allow surgeons to better visualize the tumors they aim to remove.

By | September 20, 2011

FLICKR, DEFENCE IMAGES

Researchers in Germany have developed a technique that makes ovarian cancer cells glow in vivo—helping surgeons surgically remove tumors with greater precision. The technique consists of injecting ovarian cancer patients with folate (vitamin B9) fused with a fluorescent molecule. Because 90 to 95 percent of ovarian cancers express high levels of the folate receptor, they take up the fluorescent molecule and glow white. Surgeons trying out the novel technique used specialized optical equipment to visually distinguish cancerous cells from healthy cells and were able to remove tumors as small as one millimeter in size. The more cancerous tissue that is removed surgically, the better the chances are that subsequent chemotherapy will kill off the remaining cancer cells.

"Until now we could only rely on the human eye to find carcinogenic tissue, or non-specific dyes that would color the vascular tissue as well as particular cancer cells,” Vasilis Ntziachristos, who led the study, told Nature News. “Now we are going after precise molecular signals and not simply physiology." The researchers described the new technique in Nature Medicine.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Gut Microbes Linked to Neurodegenerative Disease
  2. Top 10 Innovations 2016
    Features Top 10 Innovations 2016

    This year’s list of winners celebrates both large leaps and small (but important) steps in life science technology.

  3. Opinion: WHO’s Silence on Cannabis
  4. Image of the Day: Parting Ways
    Image of the Day Image of the Day: Parting Ways

    The Allen Institute for Cell Science releases the first public collection of human induced pluripotent stem cells that have been fluorescently tagged using CRISPR.

Rockland