News / Health

Laser Surgery Differentiates Between Cancer Cells, Healthy Cells

This image of a human glioblastoma brain tumor in the brain of a mouse was made with stimulated Raman scattering, or SRS, microscopy. The technique allows the tumor (blue) to be easily distinguished from normal tissue (green).This image of a human glioblastoma brain tumor in the brain of a mouse was made with stimulated Raman scattering, or SRS, microscopy. The technique allows the tumor (blue) to be easily distinguished from normal tissue (green).
x
This image of a human glioblastoma brain tumor in the brain of a mouse was made with stimulated Raman scattering, or SRS, microscopy. The technique allows the tumor (blue) to be easily distinguished from normal tissue (green).
This image of a human glioblastoma brain tumor in the brain of a mouse was made with stimulated Raman scattering, or SRS, microscopy. The technique allows the tumor (blue) to be easily distinguished from normal tissue (green).

Related Articles

Gene Study Uncovers Origins of Many Common Cancers

Researchers say first genomic map of mutations that lead to tumors to have 'profound implications' for cancer treatment, prevention

Ovarian Cancer Test Shows Promise in Screening Healthy Women

New strategy would allow blood test long used to detect ovarian cancer in women suspected of having disease to be used to enable early detection

Disabling Protein Cripples Cancer Cells

Researchers hope to develop drugs that can be used alongside chemotherapy to treat some malignant cancers
VOA News
For many patients diagnosed with a certain deadly type of brain cancer, the prognosis is bleak, with most living only 18 months after surgery.

But now, researchers at Harvard University and the University of Michigan Medical School have developed what they say is a laser-based technology that may make brain surgery for glioblastoma multiforme cancer much more accurate. They technique would allow surgeons to distinguish cancer cells from healthy brain cells at the microscopic level, allowing them to remove more of the tumor and lessening the chance for regrowth.

On average, patients diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme live less than two years after diagnosis. Surgery is one of the most effective treatments for such tumors, but less than a quarter of patients’ operations achieve the best possible results, according to a study published last fall in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

“Though brain tumor surgery has advanced in many ways, survival for many patients is still poor, in part because surgeons can’t be sure that they’ve removed all tumor tissue before the operation is over,” says co-lead author Dr. Daniel Orringer, a lecturer in the University of Michigan’s Department of Neurosurgery. “We need better tools for visualizing tumor during surgery.”

The new technique is called SRS microscopy, named after C.V. Raman an Indian scientist who co-discovered stimulated Raman scattering, which allows the measurement of unique chemical signatures of materials. In short, scientists can tell a lot about the chemical composition of material by hitting it with a laser beam and analyzing the spectrum of colors created.

Building on Raman scattering technology, Sunney Xie, Ph.D., of  Harvard University and the senior author of the new study, amplified the Raman signals by more than 10,000 times, making it possible to take multicolor images of living material. Using the technique, 30 images can be made every second, which is enough to make real-time video. This could potentially allow a surgeon to see the difference in tissue materials as the operation is taking place.

On the left, the view of the brain that neurosurgeons currently see during an operation using bright-field microscopy. On the right, an SRS microscopy view of the same area of brain - in this case, a mouse brain.On the left, the view of the brain that neurosurgeons currently see during an operation using bright-field microscopy. On the right, an SRS microscopy view of the same area of brain - in this case, a mouse brain.
x
On the left, the view of the brain that neurosurgeons currently see during an operation using bright-field microscopy. On the right, an SRS microscopy view of the same area of brain - in this case, a mouse brain.
On the left, the view of the brain that neurosurgeons currently see during an operation using bright-field microscopy. On the right, an SRS microscopy view of the same area of brain - in this case, a mouse brain.
The technique was used to distinguish a tumor from healthy tissue in the brains of living mice -- and then showed that the same was possible in tissue removed from a human patient with glioblastoma multiforme.

According to the researchers, SRS microscopy is as accurate as the most common form of brain tumor diagnosis, H&E staining. But unlike H&E staining, SRS microscopy can be done in real time, and without dyeing, removing or processing the tissue, researchers said.

While the current SRS microscopy system is not small enough or stable enough to be used in an operating room, the team is working with the private sector on reducing the cost, stability and size.

According to Kara Gavin, a spokesperson for the University of Michigan Medical School, the new technique “does have potential for other types of cancer – and benign issues where the cellular nature of the abnormal tissue is different from that of the normal tissue.”

A validation study, to examine tissue removed from consenting University of Michigan brain tumor patients, may begin as soon as next year.

The paper was featured on the cover of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs