Fluorescent Tracer "Lights Up" Brain Tumor for Surgery, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Study

Published: Feb 20, 2013

Neurosurgeons report that they harnessed the power of fluorescent light to illuminate a brain tumor so the entire growth could be removed. A report describes a case in which a patient with glioblastoma swallowed a pill, called 5-ALA, and was taken to surgery about four hours later. The medication attached itself to tumor cells, causing them to glow brightly. Once the skull was opened, the doctors focused a blue light on the tumor, which gave the cancerous cells a pink glow, so the surgeons could differentiate malignant tissue from healthy tissue.

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