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Mass Spectrometer Smells Out Tumor Cells During Surgery, Justus-Liebig University Study



10/15/2009 7:12:08 AM

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medGadget -- Surgically removing tumors usually involves a bit of guessing on where cancerous tissue ends and healthy begins. The surgeons also have to keep the tumor margin as wide as possible to make sure that the entire specimen has been removed. Current methods to help make the guessing game more precise involves preoperative scans and sending surgical tissue samples for path analysis. Researchers from Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany have now recognized that when surgeons are using electric cautery, the smoke that's released contains information about what is being cut. By using a mass spectrometer attached to the smoke collecting vacuum, the scientists are hoping to develop a technology that will provide almost real time, clinically useful information about the tissue under the knife.

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