A new imaging technique allows doctors to trace all cancer cells. The recent imaging method that highlights cancer tissues may gradually help physicians to eliminate the entire affected parts, according to this initial research. When a person has cancer, doctors try to precisely discover the damaged areas and cut them out, as the authors of the study affirmed in the press release.
However, sometimes there can be left minute recurring melanoma that cannot be seen so easily. The new imaging technique, they said, is intended to help surgeons see all affected organs during the medical procedure, in order to prevent patients to go under unnecessary surgeries.
The early test, including both rats and some human subjects, used preoperative hypodermic injections with a blue fluid known as LUM015 right into the area where melanoma is located. This fluid then propagates only into cancer tissues instead of other healthy cells.
According to this research’s authors, the fluid looks for a specific enzyme named protease, which is considered to be essential for cancer development and that is present in big amounts in dangerous cells. After the cells are eliminated during the procedure, a specially created imaging device is inserted into the operated site.
Melanoma tissues left behind shine approximately four times lighter than healthy cells, experts stated. Physicians can then eliminate the dangerous tissues right there, hypothetically reducing the necessity for additional follow-up surgeries.
Doctors mentioned that the most important difficulties experienced by surgeons is identifying where are all cancer tissues. This means that a better picture is always required, since with a large tumor it is easy to identify melanoma. But when there are only a few tissues or a little tumor, it is difficult to see or effectively remove it in a single operation.
If the recent experimental procedure is successful, the advantages brought by it will be enormous in the long term. The study’s authors say that their research is the first procedure of this kind to particularly use protease compounds and guide imaging.
Until now, the analysis has involved tests with rats and a sample of 15 sufferers, all of them being clinically diagnosed as developing either breast cancers or severe sarcoma. For human subjects, the analysis group has tested the general impact on melanoma cells already eliminated from each individual.
Among rats, the experts have conducted real-time operation of cancer cells relying on recognition during the process. The research’s authors said that the new imaging method did not cause adverse reactions and appeared to be safe for all patients involved.
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