Fluorescence-Guided Surgery Detects Cancer Cells

Katie Grossman


Pulmonary metastasectomy is often used as a method to surgically remove metastasis, a form of lung tumor that is produced by the spread of cancer from another part of the body. This is frequently used in osteosarcoma cases when the patient must undergo surgical removal of a tumor in the lungs, which is spread from a cancerous tumor on the bone. Although there are many advantages to this surgery, which offers many patients a possible cure and increases survival rates, the cancer is very difficult to control (2). Surgeries can be very challenging, and surgeons have a very difficult time locating small tumor cells using traditional preoperative imaging, palpation, and visualization. Increasing evidence highlights that patients diagnosed with osteosarcomas contain tumor cells that express a protein-coding gene known as folate receptor alpha (FRa). In this study, a drug known as OTL38 is used to target folate receptors and deliver fluorescent dye that can be seen through NIR (near-infrared) imaging (1). This technology aids in localizing lesions seen in preoperative imaging, as well as identifying very small cancer deposits that were not recognized with other traditional forms of imaging (1). This study is very significant as a supplement to future surgery and cancer research.


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